Lead attorney in Waters ethics case reportedly suspended

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Kitty Felde/KPCC

Maxine Waters at a press conference on ethics charges, August 13, 2010

The House Ethics Committee's lead attorney in the Maxine Waters case reportedly has been placed on administrative leave.

"The Hill" and "Politico" both cite unnamed sources on the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct as saying that Morgan Kim, the committee's deputy chief counsel, was placed on leave for unspecified reasons on November 19. That's the same day the committee announced it was postponing the Waters hearing on ethics charges.

Stacy Sovereign, another committee lawyer, also was reportedly put on leave that day. The reason for the committee's action is unclear.

The committee has not confirmed the reports.

Waters' office says the congresswoman will have a statement today.

The L.A. Democrat is charged with three counts of violating ethics rules for allegedly intervening two years ago on behalf of a minority-owned bank in which her husband owned more than $350,000 worth of stock. She has vigorously denied the charges.

This week, Waters insisted that the committee try her before the end of the year.

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