October 13th, 2008
06:40 PM ET
10 years ago

Florida Dem requests ethics investigation into own actions

A news report about an alleged affair led Rep. Tim Mahoney, pictured in this 2006 file photo with his wife Terry, to request an ethics investigation into his own actions.

A news report about an alleged affair led Rep. Tim Mahoney, pictured in this 2006 file photo with his wife Terry, to request an ethics investigation into his own actions.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Democratic Rep. Tim Mahoney called on the House ethics committee to investigate his own behavior after ABC News reported that he paid a former staffer who was also his mistress $121,000 to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Mahoney, who is married, did not directly address the ABC report, but said in a written statement, "I was notified this afternoon about a story that ran on ABC News' web site reporting allegations about a former employee. While these allegations are based on hearsay, I believe that my constituents need a full accounting. As such, I have requested the House ethics committee to review these allegations. I am confident that when the facts are presented that I will be vindicated."

The ABC story said Mahoney began an affair with Patricia Allen during his campaign in 2006. Allen was later hired to work for Mahoney's Florida congressional office. In addition to the $121,000 legal settlement, the story reports that Mahoney secured Allen a job at the consulting firm that handles his campaign commercials. A spokesman in Mahoney's campaign office in Florida declined to answer any questions regarding the allegations in the ABC report.

Mahoney's West Palm Beach area congressional seat was formerly held by Republican Mark Foley, who resigned in late 2006 after his own sex scandal involving inappropriate communication with male House pages.

A senior Democratic operative said that with these allegations surfacing in the same district that Mark Foley served, "the irony is not lost on any of us."

After Mahoney called for the investigation, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said, "I just learned today about the serious allegations concerning Congressman Tim Mahoney. These charges must be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the House Ethics Committee."

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, recently confronted Mahoney about a report that he had been unfaithful to his wife. According to DCCC spokeswoman Jennifer Crider, "After a rumor recently surfaced on a blog about Mr. Mahoney's affair, the chairman spoke briefly once with Mr. Mahoney about his responsibility as an elected
official to act appropriately and urged him to come clean with his constituents if there was any truth to the rumor."

In a sign of how politically devastating the allegations are for Mahoney's chances of re-election, The Cook Political Report, a publication that rates congressional races, swiftly moved its rating on Monday for his Florida seat from "Lean Democratic" to "Lean Republican."

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. start with your own self, we

    know the republican s would never do that

    now that i call honesty

    CNN stop spining issues
    and concentrate on facts

    we know you want McBUsh again.

    October 13, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Kim

    What would Sarah do? Call for an investigation of herself. YaBetcha .

    October 13, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Frank from Peterborough

    CNN why this story but nothing on Sara Palin's alleged affair with her husband's partner?

    October 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. HouseDiva




    October 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. NJ

    Another Demwitt in a sex scandal, oh me oh my it just unbelievable.

    we are all LOL !!! Get rid of him........

    October 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Speider

    I say it's time to out every politician for ethics and abuse of power. Palin has a real nerve standing in front of crowds and denying she was found guilty of abuse of power. the frightening thing is that there are many who will take her at her word. These are the voters we must fear more than the politicians who persuade them.

    October 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. willie howard

    the silence is deafening.

    October 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. josh

    Jeez, there's another pattern showing among Democrats.

    Are you people sure you want Obama&Co. ?

    October 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Sick and tired of getting screwed

    What??? no stonewalling??? no rabid lawyers filing motions? no whining about baseless attacks by the liberal media???

    oh, yeah, hes a Democrat....

    October 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Doris,Memphis,TN

    I would not run for this seat! This is scary.

    October 13, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Scott L

    Wouldn't be the first time a Democrat had an affair while serving public office.

    Sure Republicans have too, but seems to be more frequent in Democratic households.

    Nice morals for our youth to look up to!

    October 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. G

    What an honest man good for him hope he is right about himself.

    October 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Joe in MN

    Didn't Palin just get a big report saying she was unethical?

    Didn't McCain cheat on his wife and marry his mistress?????

    October 13, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Republican, Democrat, a rat is a rat, plenty on both sides, I am sure!!!!

    October 13, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. sandee in Portland

    How refreshing to actually have a politician call for an ethics investigation to review the allegations. WOW, better than calling for a Judge to block an investigation like the Republicans did for Palin. I'm not for the 2 party system, but I think this guy says it all for the Democrats.

    October 13, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. ready for change


    October 13, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Jeffer65

    He must know he has nothing to hide. Good for him. Or did he just hide his crimes very well?

    October 13, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    Well, at least the man is asking for a trial before being convicted by the media and or his rivals. I find that a bit refreshing rather than denial and slander!

    Oh, a democrat.... yes.... 🙂

    October 13, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Bad boys...

    must be something in the water down there...that is Republican Mark Foleys old district...

    October 13, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. VA 4 Obama

    Pretty impressive that he'd come out and basically say "dig all you want, I've got nothing to hide."

    Unfortunately, Sarah Palin is the opposite – lie until people believe you.

    October 13, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. aware


    Obama’s belief in the ultimate rule that the ends justify the means is untenable for a presidential candidate!

    Would you trust Tim Mahoney or Obama? 😦

    October 13, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    John McCain is an adulterer! He admits and wears his shame on his arm (Cindy) He is that proud of his cheating, lying, ammoral self.
    Bush lied and doctored reports to start his vendetta against Iraq and crippled Americas economy in the process.
    John McCain is trying to lie himself into office. Palin is lying because the GOP tells her what to say.
    That is the GOP way. Always has been always will be.

    October 13, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. RD

    this is between him and his family

    October 13, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Phil

    This is a report on a Democratic Congressional Rep. And all I read below except for a few are Palin Complaints lol. You people are rediculous. I can tell that most of the Palin Haters are sound byte intelectuals who murmur gossip like a drama oriented high school!

    October 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. kiop

    Notice how CNN buried this story in 'the ticker' instead of plastering it all over their front page like they do with Republican scandals..Not biased at all..

    I find it interesting that some of you bloggers are some how trying to drag Sarah Palin into the conversation.. She has nothing to do with this perverted, corrupt democrat.

    October 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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