Menendez formally admonished by Select Committee on Ethics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Ethics Committee has admonished Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey for repeatedly accepting gifts of significant value, failing to report them and for advancing the personal and business interests of a donor.

The panel began its review in late 2012 and renewed it after the senator’s federal bribery trial ended with the jury hopelessly deadlocked on all charges.

The Ethics Committee says in a public letter of admonition that Menendez repeatedly accepted gifts from Dr. Salomon Melgen and then used his position to advance Melgen’s interests.

The committee says it has determined that the conduct violated “Senate Rules, federal law and applicable standards of conduct.”

It is also directing Menendez to repay the fair market value of all impermissible gifts not already repaid.