The House Ethics Committee has decided not to reprimand Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, in regard to questions raised over whether his automobile dealership would benefit financially from an amendment he introduced in 2015.
The committee’s leaders said in a report issued Tuesday, however, that Williams should have consulted with the panel first to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
A 2015 Center for Public Integrity story brought to light a provision proffered by Williams that allowed car dealers to rent or loan out vehicles even if they are subject to safety recalls. Williams owns the Roger Williams Auto Mall in Weatherford, Texas. The amendment did not become law.
The House ethics manual states that “whenever a Member is considering taking any such action on a matter that may affect his or her personal financial interests,” he or she should contact the House Ethics Committee for guidance.
Williams did not consult with the committee first.
In a statement, Williams said he knew he would be cleared of wrongdoing.
“I have extensive knowledge and experience in running a small business and I chose to apply some common sense to legislation that was overreaching with regulations," Williams said. "This bill would have resulted in unintended consequences that would punish small business owners, employees and consumers."