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OneUnited CEO Kevin Cohee says his bank hasn’t made loans in some poor neighborhoods because it wasn’t financially prudent. He also reiterates that past criminal charges against him were dropped.

The banker at the center of the Rep. Maxine Waters ethics controversy is firing back at his critics, saying sex and drug cases against him were “unequivocally dropped” and that the decision by his institution not to make home loans in some low-income neighborhoods was financially prudent.

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OneUnited Bank Chairman and Chief Executive Kevin L. Cohee declined to talk about Waters, saying he wouldn’t discuss pending legal matters. He said that would have to wait for resolution of House Ethics Committee charges that the longtime congresswoman from South Los Angeles intervened improperly with the Treasury Department on his behalf after his bank suffered huge losses at the height of the financial crisis. The bank received $12 million in federal bailout funds that it has yet to repay.

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