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Ethics Committee Admonishes Burris

The Senate Select Committee on Ethics has sent Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., a "public letter of qualified admonition" for "providing incorrect, inconsistent, misleading or incomplete information" about the events that led to his being appointed to fill the seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Burris' statements, the committee says, reflected unfavorably upon the Senate.

They did not, however, amount to "actionable violations of law," the bi-partisan panel added.

The Chicago Tribune writes that Burris, "sought to cast the committee's action as a vindication" because it did not find he broke the law and issued a statement saying:

"I am pleased that after numerous investigations, this matter has finally come to a close. I thank the members of the Senate Ethics Committee for their fair and thorough review of this matter, and now look forward to continuing the important work ahead on behalf of the people of Illinois."

The ethics committee found that:

— Burris failed to immediately disclose contacts he had with associates of then-governor Rod Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. Blagojevich, a Democrat who has since been impeached and removed from office, has been accused of effectively trying to "sell" the Senate seat.

— The senator "gave multiple and at times contradictory explanations for failing to disclose" his contacts with the governor's associates.

— Burris had an "inappropriate" conversation with Blagojevich's brother on Nov. 13, 2008, during which Robert Blagojevich "was explicit about the purpose of his call: to raise campaign funds for his brother" and Burris "appeared to agree to write a check."

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