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New Jersey Rep. Andrews to leave Congress amid ethics probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Representative Rob Andrews of New Jersey, who has been facing a U.S. House Ethics Committee investigation, said on Tuesday he will resign from Congress this month and join a law firm.

The congressman, whose district includes Philadelphia suburbs in New Jersey, said he will be joining the Dilworth Paxson law firm, which is based in Philadelphia.

"A law firm with which my family and I have enjoyed deep and personal bonds stretching over three decades has offered me the opportunity to lead its government affairs practice," Andrews, 56, said in a statement.

The Ethics Committee in a March 2013 statement said it was setting up a subcommittee to investigate allegations Andrews misused campaign funds for personal purposes and made false statements to federal officials.

It has not made a statement on the subject since then.

"My decision is, however, most emphatically not a political decision about what is happening in Washington - it is a personal decision about the best path for my family," Andrews said.

He said he would leave Congress on February 18 during its President's Day recess and join the firm soon afterward.

Andrews was first elected to the House in 1990 and easily won re-election in 2012 with 68 percent of the vote.

Thirty-eight representatives and senators already have announced plans to leave Congress in advance of November's mid-term elections. Last week Republican Representative Trey Radel of Florida, who was charged in November with buying cocaine, resigned.

(Writing by Bill Trott and Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Cynthia Johnston, Cynthia Osterman and Tom Brown)

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