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Ethics Committee Admonishes Senator Tom Coburn

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Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma)
WASHINGTON -

The Senate Ethics committee has admonished Republican Sen. Tom Coburn over his involvement with a staffer to former Sen. John Ensign.

In a letter released Friday, the six-member panel said Coburn's communications and actions with Doug Hampton were improper conduct and warranted a public letter of qualified admonition. The committee said contact between the two violated the Senate rule barring contact on legislative matters within the first year of a staffer's departure.

The panel said the letter closes the matter.

Ensign was having an affair with Hampton's wife. In 2008, Hampton received a $96,000 gift from Ensign's parents, and an earlier Ethics Committee report cast Coburn as participating in subsequent, unsuccessful negotiations in May 2009 over a far larger amount.

Ensign, a Nevada Republican, quit May 3, 2011.

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