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Maxine Waters' ties to bank questioned

March 12, 2009 |  1:02 pm

Maxinewaters Questions have been emerging over the last few months about the actions of an L.A. congresswoman who reportedly set up a meeting between federal regulators and a bank seeking $50 million in bailout funds. Maxine Waters did so even though her family had financial ties to the bank. The Wall Street Journal has been reporting this story for a while, and today the New York Times weighed in:

Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, requested the September meeting on behalf of executives at OneUnited, one of the nation’s largest black-owned banks. Ms. [Waters'] husband, Sidney Williams, had served on the bank’s board of directors until early last year and has owned at least $250,000 in stock in the institution. Treasury officials said the session with nearly a dozen senior banking regulators had been intended to allow minority-owned banks and their trade association to discuss the losses they had incurred from the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But Kevin Cohee, OneUnited’s chief executive, instead seized the opportunity to plead for special assistance for his bank, federal officials said.

A few years ago, The Times' Chuck Neubauer and Ted Rohrlich did an in-depth report on similar themes: "U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters' family members have made more than $1 million in the last eight years by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that the influential congresswoman has helped."

--Shelby Grad

Photo: L.A. Times file

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