The House Ethics Committee announced today that it will investigate a complaint filed against Seattle Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott.

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The House Ethics Committee announced today that it will investigate a complaint filed against Seattle Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott.


The complaint, filed by Rep. David Hobson, R-Ohio, alleged that McDermott violated “certain laws, rules and standards of conduct” when he released an illegally intercepted cell-phone conversation to reporters in January 1997, according to the committee’s statement.


An ethics investigative subcommittee will determine whether McDermott upheld congressional rules that require members to act “at all times in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives.”


McDermott is on vacation, and his office refused to respond.


Another Ohio Republican, Rep. John Boehner, sued McDermott over the tapes in 1998.


In October, a federal judge ruled in Boehner’s favor, contending that McDermott’s “willful and knowing misconduct rises to the level of malice in this case.” The judge ordered McDermott to pay $60,000 plus Boehner’s legal fees, which amount to about $545,000.


McDermott appealed the decision last month, and a federal court is expected to hear the case next spring.