No comment from Charlie Rangel

November 19, 2010 1:37:56 PM PST
The man who always has been available for comment, seems now so unavailable.

Charlie Rangel, the long-time New York Congressman, is reportedly hold up in his rent-controlled apartments in Harlem.

I know there are a lot of people who were pleased that Rangel got his comeuppance last night from the House ethics committee with a punishment of censure. Rangel violated House rules on ethics and financial disclosure and, if I read and understand the charges right, may have violated IRS law as well.

If you or I had not reported $600,000 in rental income over a 17-year period, I suspect we'd be eating at Leavenworth or some such other eatery surrounded by razor wire.

But it's not as if Rangel hasn't and won't be punished. He was stripped of the committee chairmanship he coveted his entire 40-year career, the House Ways and Means Committee. And this scandal has cast a pall on what he had viewed as an exemplary career. Oh, and he'll have to face the verbal lashing on the floor of the House from the Speaker. For an 80-year-old prideful man, it's a punishment. Not like what would happen to most of us, in a similar situation, but a punishment nonetheless.

Many of you reacted to Rangel's situation by writing to our website, and we thank you for those comments. Whatever side of the fence you sit on regarding Rangel's scandal, it's safe to say this is a rather pathetic coda to his career.

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

Also at 11, more purse snatchings on Long Island, including two attempted robberies last night. There are at least nine in the past three weeks in Nassau County, where robbers wait for women to pull into their driveways, and then steal their purses as the get out of their cars.

We're also following developments at a school in Orange County, New York, where we broke the story Tuesday night at 11 of a principal who went to the home of two students who called out sick. He entered the house and wanted them to get to school. The principal has been put on administrative leave, and now the Chester Board of Education has called a meeting next week to deal with the brouhaha.

Eyewitness News reporter Phil Lipof tonight takes a closer look at the New Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), and what he finds isn't pretty. Phil talks to a local dad, divorced, who worries about the safety of his son. He says he's asked DYFS to step in, but he claims that so far nothing.

And Jeff Pegues reports on a new twist on social networking in cyberspace: To land jobs. It's a fascinating look at how some people are turning a website into an employment line.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20

BILL RITTER

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