Can't name the 24, House panel says Just too many complaints to investigate.

March 23, 1992|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- The head of the ethics committee investigating overdrafts at the House bank says so many members are complaining of errors in the bank's records that there is "no way" the panel can issue its report this week naming 24 members who abused banking privileges.

On March 12, the House approved a resolution authorizing the release of the names after 10 days. Ten days after that, the panel was to release the names of 331 other current or former House members who overdrew their accounts at any time from July 1988 to October 1991.

But as the first 10-day period expired this weekend, the panel's acting chairman, Rep. Matthew F. McHugh, D-N.Y., said the committee was not ready to release any names.

"There is no way we can give people due process and disclose at the end of that 10-day period," he said.

The names of the 24 have been widely reported but not officially confirmed by the committee, which is also supposed to provide details about overdrafts in those members' accounts.

Mr. McHugh said the committee would send letters today to all members of the House explaining how they can challenge the panel's preliminary findings about overdrafts written on the accounts of 296 current and 59 former members.

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