Share this story...
Latest News

Ethics panel: Sen. Vitter undermined public trust

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate ethics committee says Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana undermined public trust last year by blocking a salary increase for the interior secretary.

However, the committee said Vitter’s unprecedented action raised a new issue, making it impossible to charge the Louisiana Republican with rules violations.

Vitter blocked the increase for Ken Salazar when Salazar failed to issue six permits a month for new deepwater exploratory wells.

The committee, in a letter to Vitter on Friday, said that if Salazar had agreed to the demand, it would have appeared that he was complying in order to obtain a raise.

Salazar’s salary remains $19,600 below the $199,700 salary of presidential Cabinet members.

The ethics committee said that any similar action in the future would be considered improper conduct by senators.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)