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Ethics Panel Gets Newt Loot

House Speaker Newt Gingrich has completed payment of a $300,000 penalty imposed for violations of House rules, the ethics committee said Wednesday.

Gingrich made the final payment of $150,000, the committee said, and "has now satisfied in full" the obligation imposed in January 1997.

The outgoing speaker originally arranged a loan from ex-Sen. Bob Dole to help with the payments but decided instead to handle the penalty from personal funds.

Gingrich, who also was reprimanded by the House two years ago, admitted he misled the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and should have sought better legal advice before using tax-exempt organizations to advance his political goals.

The money was designed to reimburse the committee for extra investigative costs resulting from Gingrich's misleading statements.

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