According to the Ethics Committee, Coburn and Hampton talked about official business, including the possibility of Allegiant resuming service in Oklahoma, but Hampton didn't ask Coburn for any favors and Coburn didn't do anything for Allegiant.
The committee said Coburn knew Hampton was “legally prohibited from requesting or participating in such a meeting.” The committee also “noted” that it was just one meeting and that Coburn has acknowledged it was wrong.
Hart, Coburn's spokesman, said the burden of complying with the ban on lobbying should be on the individuals under the ban.
“It is unfortunate the committee has impugned Dr. Coburn for their failure to provide workable guidance for a law that was passed nearly five years ago.”
Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed a complaint in the matter in 2009, said Friday that the committee “was more interested in glossing over misconduct than in actually holding a senator accountable.
“It should come as no surprise to anyone that this tepid rebuke was issued at the beginning of a holiday weekend.”
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