THE Senate Ethics Committee, trying to end speculation that politics is influencing its investigation of the ``Keating Five'' savings and loan scandal, agreed to hold public hearings on the affair next month and close the investigation by the end of the year. The bipartisan panel adopted a resolution Oct. 23 calling for the hearings to begin Nov. 15 - nine days after the midterm election - and for the proceedings to be wrapped up by the end of the year, except in ``extraordinary circumstances.''
The action prompted two of the senators who believe they have already been cleared in the affair - Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat John Glenn of Ohio - to complain bitterly that the committee was inappropriately dragging out the investigation.
The other three senators involved in the matter are Alan Cranston (D) of California, Dennis DeConcini (D) of Arizona, and Donald Riegle (D) of Michigan. None of the five senators is up for reelection this year.
Senator Riegle said the hearings would ``allow all of the relevant facts to be fully out in the open.''
Ethics questions have also emerged in the House, where top party officials are urging Rep. Donald Lukens (R) of Ohio to resign following new allegations of sexual misconduct in which he allegedly made unwanted sexual advances to a congressional employee.
Mr. Lukens, who was convicted last year of having sex with a teenage girl, was to appear before the House Ethics Committee Oct. 24.
House minority leader Robert Michel said Oct. 23 that Lukens should resign or risk expulsion and the loss of his pension.
Lukens refused repeated demands from Republican Party leaders that he resign, but he was defeated in a bid for reelection in the primary election in May, finishing a distant third in a four-man race.