Rangel investigation expands

October 8, 2009 2:02:38 PM PDT
He may have dodged a bullet yesterday, when his fellow Democrats pushed back a third Republican effort to remove him as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

But the political troubles of Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York do not appear to be over. Not by a long shot.

The House ethics committee met in private today, and announced it was widening its investigation into Rangel.

The issue is the long-time Congressman's use of rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury building in Harlem, fundraising tactics on behalf of his non-profit Center for Public Service at City College of New York, a tax provision for a million-dollar donor to the center that bears his name, and failure to pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic. He also apparently failed to report all his assets.

Rangel has said he welcomes the investigation and says he's done nothing wrong. Any errors were mistakes of accidental omission, he says.

We'll have reaction, and the latest, tonight at 11.

We'll also have reaction to a new NYPD effort - amassing information from the cell phones of people who are busted. According to an internal department memo, a suspect's cell phone battery is removed to "avoid leakage." But critics say the real reason is to avoid getting a warrant to get information from a suspect. That's because the officer, after removing the battery, then writes down the SIM card number, which is registered with the cell phone service provider. They then have the potential of logging calls made and keeping track of calls made in the future. Authorities then could, conceivably, use that information.

As you might imagine, civil libertarians are none-too-pleased with all this.

Also at 11, we may be in a recession, and folks are certainly spending less. At least most of us. But others can't. Who knew that the mocking term "shop-a-holic" was actually a real disease? Turns out ? nearly 18 million Americans may fall into the category of having a shopping addiction.

How to battle the addiction? Lisa Colagrossi has our story tonight.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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