House Majority Leader Confirms Massa Ethics Probe 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is confirming "allegations of misconduct" concerning freshman Rep. Eric Massa's, D-N.Y.

Massa, who has suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, announced Wednesday he is not seeking re-election because of health reasons, but there are also accusations he sexually harassed a man on his staff.

Hoyer indicated Wednesday night he has heard the complaint and warned Massa to bring it to the attention of the ethics committee "within 48 hours" or Hoyer would do it himself.

Hoyer said he did not know "whether the allegations are true or false, but wanted to ensure that the bipartisan committee charged with overseeing conduct of Members was immediately involved to determine the facts.”

The ethics committee generally investigates any case brought before it by a House member, thought they rarely punish anybody.

Massa, in all likelihood, will be long gone before the panel ever rules on the complaint, thought it is possible they will move faster in this instance if the Democrats want to make the point that they aren't going to go soft on Massa over such a serious allegation. The panel is made up of five Republicans and five Democrats but a Democrat holds the gavel.

In 2006, the House Republican leadership was accused of ignoring complaints that former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., was pursuing underage male House pages.

Massa Wednesday admitted using "salty" language in his office, but said nothing more sinister occurred.






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