Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter last year asking the Fed to make a ruling that would have saved a New Jersey bank whose chairman gave $30,000 to the senator in the past decade, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In a statement to the Journal, Menendez said he was properly representing his constituents’ interests when he asked the Fed to approve the sale of First BankAmericano to another bank.
But an outside expert quoted by the Journal believes Menendez’s actions crossed an ethical line:
William Black, a federal bank regulator during the savings-and-loan crisis two decades ago, and like Mr. Menendez a Democrat, called the senator’s letter “grotesquely inappropriate,” given his ties to the two directors.
The whole story is worth a read.