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Congressman Rush: I’m Cooperating With Ethics Probe

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(CBS) – Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush on Friday addressed an ethics probe he is facing.

CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports.

At Chicago State University, Rush addressed the media about an investigation that has the Office of Congressional Ethics tracking money surrounding the congressman.

Rush says the OCE is interested in two areas, including what he calls “the conveyance of campaign contributions to not-for-profits that were affiliated with me and to my church.”

In 2003, Rush announced his charity, Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp., received a $1 million grant from the SBC Foundation to start a training program and resource center for Englewood residents.

In December, the Better Government Association started asking questions about that money, after finding no sign the program ever existed.

Rush says the second area of the probe concerns his political office.

The BGA revealed Rush directed campaign funds to the South Side church he pastors. The investigation also revealed Rush may not have reported rent payments for his campaign office.

Rush declined to comment but said he is cooperating with the ethics probe.

The congressman also says this investigation came during his nearly six-month leave of absence from Congress to care of his sick wife, Carolyn.

“It came at a time during the worst time of my life,” he said.

The congressman has hired a D.C.-based attorney to represent him.

If the OCE finds any evidence of misconduct, they will then forward their report to the House Ethics Committee, which will determine appropriate action.