A Senate Committee has cleared Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad of violating ethics rules after concluding its year-long investigation into whether the men received special mortgage deals.
In separate letters to Dodd and Conrad of North Dakota, the Ethics Committee said there was no substantial credible evidence that their Countrywide mortgages broke Senate gift rules. But the bi-partisan committee believes the Senators should have been more careful in their dealings to avoid the appearance they were receiving preferential treatment.
Dodd says he's pleased his name has been cleared but he admits to making one mistake.
"I didn't respond to this at the time and so by waiting that long, the allegations out there, why I wasn't releasing documents, why I wasn't talking about that contributed to people's cynacism and distrust that maybe i wasn't telling the truth."
Since the allegations surfaced in media reports last summer, Dodd's approval rating has taken a dive among Connecticut voters and he trails a Republican candidate, Rob Simmons, in recent polls for the 2010 Senate race.