Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, was cleared of wrongdoing by the House Ethics Committee Tuesday after a year-long investigation into an alleged conflict of interest.
The complaint was filed by the Campaign Legal Center in November 2015 after Williams, who owns a car dealership in Weatherford, offered an amendment to a transportation bill directly affecting car dealers.
The committee’s final report, issued Tuesday, said it found “no violation of any law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct” in Williams’ case.
In a statement Tuesday, Williams thanked the committee for its “professionalism” and “hard work” in ensuring accountability among members of Congress.
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Williams’ amendment, which took effect June 1, allows small auto dealers to rent cars or use loaners that are under recall.
The Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, which pushed the initial legislation in response to a deadly crash involving a recalled rental, said at the time that Williams’ move was a “blatant” conflict that “benefited nobody but car dealers.”
Williams defended his amendment Tuesday, saying he used his experience in the car industry to stop “overreaching” regulation that could hurt small businesses.
“This bill would have resulted in unintended consequences that would punish small business owners, employees and consumers,” said Williams. “My outlook as a member of Congress has been, and always will be, to bring sensible business solutions to solve attempted government overreach, specifically on small businesses.”