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. Independent voter

    ALL politicians around the world are either liars or committing adultery. NO new news there.

    October 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    Now the Republicans are accusing us of not being able to vote against Obama without being called a racist! This is disgusting.

    We don't care what you call it. We are voting for Obama because he is the best man for the job!

    Stop feeling sorry for McCain. He made his own bed, now he has to lie in it! You cannot blame Obama because McCain is running an attack campaign instead of an issue campaign!

    October 13, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. fella from chicago

    Another dirty Dem. Well, what do you expect when the guy running on top of the Dem ticket has been the lawyer for a dirty organization like ACORN that's now linked to voter fraud in a number of states after putting undue pressure on the banking system to give loans to people who couldn't afford to own a house. Go ACORN...Go Obama...the dirtiest of all Chicago politicians, but we love him anyway here in Chicago.

    October 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  4. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    Thank you, Campbell Brown! It took McCain a LONG time to set the record straight. He had to be criticized from all directions before he stooped to do so! And he is still defending his rhetoric.... the only thing they did not do is burn Obama in effigy at their stumping!!

    He's a fighter, he's a POW.... he's a maverick! McPooh.... I'm sick of hearing it....

    October 13, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. silence is golden

    Well here is someone for both McCain and Palin to look up to.

    Even if he isn't telling the truth he at least doesn't try to
    get a judge to block the investigation, Unlike some people.....

    October 13, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  6. Sim

    No comment but a question. The Alaskan Independent Party-What affiiliation does Gov Palin and her husband has with this organization?

    October 13, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. nice guy

    Americans need to be smarter!!!! reading this log some people are hating on cnn for running it because their for mcbush! what are you crazy?? and then others are saying that the dem party and the rep party is bad because of this story!!! what when you ask for your own ethics committee to run an investigation it is because you are absolutely certain your innocent this is not an indictment against the dem party it is a commendation for the integrity of mahoney
    Stop watching tv and read a book will ya

    October 13, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. DB25

    I think it's surprising that a politicians called for his own ethics investigation! I don't think one would do that unless they were innocent....or had dirt on the people running the ethics investigation...

    October 13, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. Tommie

    Wow, I am impressed. If it comes out that he hasn't done anything wrong, I hope he sticks around. We need more politicans that believe in ethics instead of fear 'em!

    October 13, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    Good be honest, be clear. We are SO tired of the politics of lies, hate, and division!

    October 13, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |

    Ofcourse, the scandal is large and someone must be brought to justice. I am not sure how they are aligning this with Obama but they are trying. Scott L your right bot have had affirs however more Dems have affairs with someone of the opposit sex. 🙂

    BARACK THE VOTE PEOPLE............


    October 13, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Alex

    Tim Mahoney is very confident that he will be vindicated, asking for an investigation into his own action.

    Even Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Democrat, called for an investigation into his actions. It seems that unlike the Republicans, the Democrats try not to hide their party members' indiscretions.

    October 13, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. Darrell

    This dude needs to have a talk with Todd and Sarah Palin.Maybe he can teach them that lying,commting fraud,spewing hate and lies is not a good way to go.This guy should really be commended for doing the right thing.This is rare in politics, and of course McCain and Palin are above truth.

    October 13, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. Bill

    Its sad that Palin came out swinging negativity before she could embody any policy or philosophy that is based on an ideal and not partisan politics. She will never win over the middle that could help her in a national election.

    October 13, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. Ashamed to be a Democrat

    This only a month since the Detroit Mayor (DEM) Kwame or whatever his name is was convicted...Maybe they will be roomates in jail.

    O'Bamas camp wants to talk about scary???? How about the fact that this Democrat (me) who has never voted for a Republican ever is so scared of O'Bama and the Socialists calling themselves Dem's in Congress that I am willing to vote for a Republican...Now thats scary.

    What happened to the Democrats during Clinton era? they we're the reason I registered as a Democrat. Where are they? When did all these freaks calling themselves Democrats get elected? I guess we Dem's have been asleep and let the socialists take over.

    October 13, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. wethepeople

    He who is without sin....

    Some stupid comments from obvious repubs. I don't think he's guilty but what's worse, fooling around with another woman or fooling around with young men? So don't you get all high and mightly and act as if only Democrats get into this sort of mess...at least he has the decency to ask that he be investigated because he feels he owes it to his constituents.

    October 13, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. Chicago Christian

    Scott L. You are an idiot!

    October 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Darryl

    God Bless America,

    October 13, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  19. Tim

    Its nice to see a politician offering himself up for investigation instead of dodging subpeona's then saying they're innocent when a *bipartisan* investigation says otherwise.....

    October 13, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. Susan

    Oh brother

    October 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  21. annie - never again a dem.

    Who is Vera Baker?

    October 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  22. Stew

    This guy is a jerk and should be OUT of politics!

    October 13, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  23. Pot & Kettle

    Scott L October 13th, 2008 7:17 pm ET
    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!
    Hasn't there been a series of Republican sex scandals over the past few years. The difference between them seems to be that the Dems scandals almost always involve women.

    October 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. arvind

    Stats show 80% of North American have committed adultery. It appears this is part of our North American cultural landscape. So, why do we persist with the double standard and the hypocrisy once a person is in office? There are better things to focus on like the economy.

    October 13, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. lfformccain

    WOW! ABC going after one of their own Liberal Democrats?! Hell has frozen over. ABC better be care of Pelosi, Dodd & Frank are gonna break some knee caps. Thank you Lord, our prayers are being answered and the MSM is coming out of it's kool-aide-induced insanity!

    October 13, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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