House ditches Massa investigation 

The House ethics committee has dropped its investigation into former Rep. Eric Massa, sources tell The Examiner.

The panel, which is bipartisan but chaired by Democrat Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., ended the investigation because it no longer has jurisdiction over Massa since he resigned on Monday.

Massa, a freshmen New York Democrat, was accused of sexually harassing a male staffer.

Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader John Boehner said he wanted the probe to continue even though Massa resigned, saying "an awful lot of questions" remain in the case.

There is certainly precedent for the ethics committee to keep open investigations after an accused lawmaker has quit or left office.

When then-Rep. Mark Foley abruptly resigned in the wake of revelations that he was inappropriately pursuing male pages, a weeks-long intensive probe commenced, resulting in an 89-page report that essentially condemned the House Republican leadership for ignoring reports of Foley's behavior.

Questions could arise as to when the Democratic leadership became aware of Massa's alleged harassment and whether they acted quickly enough, but they will never be answered if ethics keeps the case closed.

 

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