Waters is charged with acting improperly by helping the bank, in the midst of the financial crisis, while her husband held hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock in the bank. She denies doing anything wrong.
According to the Post, Waters had helped Cohee in the past, intervening in 2002 with the governor so Cohee could buy the bank that became OneUnited.
At the time, Waters was the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions, and her husband had a checking account valued at $250,000 to $500,000 in Cohee’s bank, as well as a home mortgage and a line of credit. Her financial disclosure for 2001 does not list income from the account — because of a clerical error, an aide said — and her 2002 statement lists unspecified interest income. Such a large account would be partly at risk only if Cohee’s bank failed.
The Post also details some troubles from Cohee’s past, including a drug arrest (resulting in an order to attend Narcotics Anonymous) and a couple of lawsuits against him. It also points out that the federal government issued a cease-and-desist order in 2008 because of how Cohee used the bank to pay for personal expenses, including luxury real estate, his Porsche and a living allowance.
As the Post put it, the order accused “the bank and its officers of misspending and lax lending, and putting its operating license at risk.”