ShareThis Page
Countrywide confirmation: Self-dealing Towns |

Countrywide confirmation: Self-dealing Towns

| Monday, August 20, 2012 8:58 p.m

Thank goodness U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., announced in April that he’s retiring. That spares taxpayers more of his doubling down on self-dealing, through which he not only obtained discounted mortgages but kept that fact from the public, too.

His conduct reveals the full ugliness of the congressional scandal involving Countrywide Financial Corp.’s “VIP program.” The newly issued final report on the scandal from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., provides official confirmation of details long known publicly.

The final report says Mr. Towns obtained Countrywide VIP loans worth $182,972 for a Florida vacation home and $194,540 for his Brooklyn residence, says The Associated Press.

It also says that three years ago, as Mr. Issa’s predecessor as chairman of that same committee, he altered terms of a subpoena he had issued to exclude loans made to House members and aides — including his own. And that he refused to issue another VIP-loans subpoena for several months before furor over August 2009 media reports about his VIP loans forced his hand.

A second subpoena issued by Issa as the committee’s chairman brought to light what Towns kept hidden. Yet, incredibly, Towns maintains he received no preferential treatment.

That suggests he’s enamored of not only self-dealing, but self-deception, too. His retirement can’t come soon enough.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.