recasts report
amid ethics flap

With the U.S. House focused on possible ethics violations by Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay, Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie has amended one of his ethics filings.

Abercrombie said Tuesday that he had amended a form reporting the details of a 2001 trip after he recently received a call from a reporter for the Washington newspaper Roll Call.

Abercrombie, D-urban Honolulu, also asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate him. "So far as I know, we have done nothing wrong," Abercrombie said.

House rules forbid representatives from taking money for trips from lobbyists, and Abercrombie originally reported that a lobbying group, Rooney Group International, had paid for his trip.

In fact, Abercrombie said, the $1,782 for the trip to Boston was eventually paid by the group he addressed, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, a National Guard organization.

"The Rooney group was reimbursed. I think Mr. Rooney was an honorary member of the Massachusetts National Guard group," Abercrombie said, referring to the lobbying firm's founder and president, James W. Rooney. "We did everything in order."

Abercrombie's original ethics disclosure filed in 2001 said the trip was paid for by the Rooney Group, but a form filed last Thursday was amended to say that the trip was paid for by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, a nonprofit group.

According to House rules, lobbyists are not allowed to pay for a member's travels. DeLay is under fire for allegedly taking trips paid for by lobbyists.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie

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