Rep. Charlie Rangel is getting ready for a potential re-election challenge this fall, so getting fined $23,000 for using one of his infamous rent-stabilized apartments as a campaign office probably isn't ideal. Then again, it's a cakewalk next to being censured by his colleagues in the House!
Rangel was paying thousands under market rent for his spread in Harlem's Lenox Terrace. Three were used for his private residents, while one was an office. The NY Times explains, "Because the fourth apartment was rent-stabilized, Mr. Rangel paid $630 per month, while similar market-rate units in the building rented for $1,700 a month and higher, according to The Times. Shortly after the leasing arrangement became public, Mr. Rangel moved his campaign office out of the apartment."
News of Rangel's many rent-stabilized apartments opened up a Pandora's box of other questionable decisions (unreported income! no mention of a home's sale! using Congressional letterhead to solicit donations!), which led to his "embarrassing" public censure. Anyway, Rangel's spokeswoman said, "People settle not because they're guilty but because they don't want to go through the cumbersome process and expense to show they're not guilty."