Ethics panel closes probe into gifts from Menendez donor

A U.S. Senate ethics committee has closed its inquiry into Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez over gifts he received from a friend that led to federal corruption charges.

The committee notified Menendez last week in a letter obtained by several news organizations, including The Associated Press.

The ethics committee strongly criticized Menendez last April and directed him to repay the value of any impermissible gifts from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

MORE: Judge declares mistrial in Sen. Menendez trial | Key dates in the bribery case against Sen. Bob Menendez

Menendez's office says he reimbursed a total of $112,000, all but $2,000 of which was paid back by 2014.

A jury deadlocked in 2017 on charges Menendez accepted trips on Melgen's jet in exchange for helping Melgen's business interests. The criminal case was dropped last year.

Menendez won a third term last November over Republican Bob Hugin.