- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A congressional ethics committee says it’s taking more time as it looks into payments Republican U.S. Rep Mark Meadows of North Carolina made to a former employee.

The House Ethics Committee says it’s giving itself until mid-August to make a decision on whether Meadows improperly paid his departed chief-of-staff after he left his job. The committee can punish House members who violate ethics rules.

The committee has considered the Meadows matter since March.

A Meadows spokesman did not respond Wednesday to messages seeking comment.

A conservative watchdog group and a group run by Democratic operatives last year asked separately for ethics investigations. The Democrat-leaning American Democracy Legal Fund alleged Meadows moved out his former chief-of-staff but kept paying him after allegations of sexual harassment from office staffers.

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