Special Prosecutor Clears Boxer in House Bank Check Scandal

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

U. S. Senate candidate Barbara Boxer has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the check-writing scandal that engulfed the now-defunct House bank, her staff said Friday.

Boxer, who wrote 143 overdrafts, received notice from the Justice Department this week that she was no longer under scrutiny in the investigation.

Boxer, a five-term Democratic congresswoman from Marin County, was the last Senate nominee to receive such notification from special prosecutor Malcolm Wilkey.

Boxer's overdrafts, which she blamed on inattentive bookkeeping and the bank's own sloppy procedures, have become a campaign issue. Her opponent, conservative Republican television commentator Bruce Herschensohn, raises the check-writing issue in television ads that seek to portray Boxer as an abuser of congressional privilege.

Also added to the list of cleared members of Congress this week was Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), according to the Associated Press. His staff, overwhelmed by the week's showdown over the water bill, could not confirm that Miller had been exonerated. Miller had 99 overdrafts.

Wilkey, who has been investigating the checking accounts for six months, has cleared 222 of the 279 active House members who wrote overdrafts. Roll Call, a Washington publication, reported that 13 House members running for reelection received their exoneration notices this week, along with Boxer and Rep. Wayne Owens (D-Utah), who is also a Senate candidate.

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