October 13th, 2008
06:40 PM ET
11 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. susie

    Obama/Biden need to tell their supporters to stop being so angry and trashing Sarah Palin. It is very uncomming, especially when they tell McCain to tone down his supporters.

    October 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. AZ Dem for McCain

    They also need to investigate Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Chuck Shumer for their rolls in the fannie mae/freddie mac melt down and while we're at it, let's look closely at Obama's links to ACORN for it seems that Obama have not only excited the dead in Chicago to vote which is typical at elections but in other cities too.

    October 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. brenda from charleston sc

    well we should also have an investigation into chris dodd and barnet franks relationships with freddie and fannie and countrywide. we also need an investigation nto obamas connection with acorn. c'mon nancy bring them all before the court. dare you.

    October 13, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. Kim J

    Here's a story about a Democrat who abused his power, used taxpayer money to his advantage and cheated on his wife, and somehow, you all make it about Sarah Palin. This is why it is hard to take you seriously when you have a legitimate post.

    October 13, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. Brenda C

    You people are so sad. What in the world does Sarah Palin have to do with this democrat paying off his mistress? I know Sarah wasn't there she's not kinky like that. For once in your liberal lives put the blame where it goes instead of blaming others like you always do.
    My God man up and take responsiblity for once.

    October 13, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Navy Veteran

    So, can I conclude that the House and Senate are full of sex perverts? I think they are putting Viagra or Cialis in the water at the Capitol. I am sick of hearing about these people and their sexual affairs. Stop wasting my taxes and put some of that money back in my pocket with a tax cut. Give me a break! Please.

    October 13, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. Raymond Duke

    Well isn't this sweet. This is the guy who claimed to be such a family man and criticized Foley which he deserved. But it is hard to call the pot black when the kettle is just as black. I remember when the democrats were calling for the republicans in that scandal to resign from the top down.. I wonder if Pelosi and Emanuel will resign or step down since they covered it up for a year to get him through the election and that they also paid off the woman in question. The media especially cnn and the main street media will probably never bring it up unless they were forced to like with Reverend Wright. I notice that they refuse to ask Obama or investigate him on ACORN or AYERS> That is okay with me I will be voting for McCain/ / Palin. I do not need to be hit in the head with a rock to see the obvious as the liberals do.

    October 13, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. John

    I'll respect this Florida Dem only if he resigns. He has not done anything by calling for an investigation by a Pelosi mislead House that does nothing for the people. Obama and his supporters have become too negative in personal attacks against McCain and Palin. Just look at this site! Obama's lack of executive experience makes him less qualified than Palin. She has shown great poise in spite of all the pathetic personal and partisan attacks on her. This will be the 2nd time I vote for a woman on the national ticket as I voted for Mondale-Ferraro in 84.

    Democrats have been in control the past two years and the evidence shows that they are guilty for this financial mess - they are too stubborn to admit this is all their fault - Dodd, Pelosi, Frank, Reid and Obama continue to arrogantly act like they are totally innocent. I know Fanny and Freddie gave Obama over $100k. Why don't the guilty admit it? Since they will not, why should I trust them with another 2 years?

    The policies of Obama and the Democratic Party have failed again. When Ohio had Republican Taft as Governor and a Republican controlled US Congress we had 5% unemployment, now with Democrat Gov. Strickland and a Democratic controlled US Congress, Ohio now has over 7% unemployment. The Democrats have had enough time. It is time for a change from their failed policies that forced banks to loan money to people without a job. We need people in office that are proven bipartisan like McCain who has a proven record of bringing people together. Obama is the most partisan politician in America, and we can’t afford an inexperienced “ruler wanna be” that will not work with all Americans.

    October 13, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  9. Jack

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

    Come on Biden, lighten up!

    October 13, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. Lou from CT

    At least Mr. Mahoney stepped up and said there should be an investigation.
    And like others have said – these types of scandals do nothing but sully the political process and disillusion voters from coming to the polls.

    Enough is enough.

    October 13, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  11. Proud Military Wife

    Well how interesting that many on this blog are after Sarah Palin for "unethical violations" when she was cleared of the charges. However, I wonder why Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters and company are in Congress and enjoying the high life and pointing fingers at everyone else for all of their corruption for the Housing and Banking Mess? Why are these "so-called leaders" not being held accountable for the mess we are in? I thought Barney Frank was in charge for the last two years...what in the heck was he doing besides "spewing hate and pointing fingers at others" and not accepting blame? If many on this blog would like to call only Republicans "liars, commiting fraud,etc" then they should remember that the previously mentioned Democrats and others voted to stop the deregulation of McCain's Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae in 2005, including...wait for it...."the chosen one" aka Obama and Clinton. All of this was due to greed, political correctness of economically qualifying people with housing loans (who should not have qualified), and not to mention the banks and lending institutions throwing "donations, etc" to Franks, "the chosen one," Dodd, etc....instead of tearing down Palin, go after the individuals who we should be really angry with.....

    October 13, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  12. Justin from CT

    Stock up on baked beans, water, and ammunition while you still can.

    October 13, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. bk

    What about the shirts that Obama supporters were wearing during one of his rally's about Gov, Palin. That was so nasty the news won't even tell what it said? What about Obama supporters beaking in the GOP headquarters and writing hate stuff about Rep? What about the things that are said at the Obama Rally's? Oh I forgot its ok because its the messiah and he can do no wrong and the media wouldn't report it anyway. The hateful Obama supporters and the media are doing the same thing to Gov. Palin like they did to Hillary. Most of them are men. Do you guys think you are superior to women that you can talk about them like dogs? I would hate to be married to any of you that have such little respect for women.

    October 13, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. DR

    It's very smart of Mahoney to approach this head on so that the Republican can stop this crap. The polls in FL are up for Democratics and they are running scared.

    October 13, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. John

    Much of the same people here as were on the "scary" article. The only thing scarier than Obama being elected is all of his ignorant and loathing supporters.

    October 13, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  16. Kyle

    It doesn't matter what political party a politician is a part of because pretty much all of them are corrupt in one form or another. Sooner or later we are all politiconned by those who represent us.

    October 13, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  17. gerri

    Ive heard some say she will be replaced before the weekend.

    October 13, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  18. Ms TN

    I am African American and from the south. So, comments that McCain supporters are racist won't apply with this comment. I won't vote Obama for several reasons. While I admire his struggle and appreciate his accomplishments, he has not demonstrated that it is his time. His heart is with serving citizens that have not realized the American dream. I am a single mother of three children again African American who raised my children to be responsible..to be responsible for their decisions good or bad and to point them in the direction of the tools that will make them successful. That responsibility was mine..not the government. If Obama could give those who did not receive such training a "fishing pole" so that they may eat for life it would be more beneficial to this country than "bailing out" those that put forth little effort for their own lives.

    Yes, McCain is a Republican. I truley believe he is the republican of old and lives by the constitution. People can bring up Keating 5 all day. That's all they can find. However, he was exonerated along with John Glenn and they parted ways. I believe that George Bush and those that sit in the white house are the revised version of the Republican party that are full of greed and apathy toward those not like them. It has been very unfair for the media to choose a candidate. This I am convinced they have done. I have to watch both CNN and Fox to get the information I should get from any one of them in a fact related and fair way.

    While it is exciting to have the possible promise of the first African American president, I would prefer the devil I know than one I don't. Democrats have had full control of the House and Senate. They are equally responsible for allowing this financial crisis and should be held accountable. So, I resist the movement that insists that they are not to blame and dedicated to the party. I am dedicated to someone who is going to protect my interests. McCain is trained to love her country and I believe he has her best interest at heart.

    October 14, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  19. Jamie

    Wow, another sex scandal. Well honestly I did think I would hear about it again in the future. Here's my problem. Everytime it is a democrat, rebulicans jump up and say, "See, he's a democrat." and visa versa. There are very good men and women on both sides of the fense as well as those who don't know what to do with the privaledge of leadership and who get messed up in bad situations. Now here's my point. WE PUT THEM THERE. Instead of jumping on the "see he is this party or that party came", hold them accountable whomever they are. People, its not the party that does it to them,it is themselves. You have Sen. Craig, Sen. Edwards. Cong. Mahoney, and now this guy. You people need to stop being just one party or the other and step back and look at the big picture. Somtimes, it might be best to vote against your own personal beliefs fo the good of all. Example civil rights for EVERYONE, no matter what. It's not the corrupt politician that makes me sick, cause it is going to happen, it's the stuborn, ignorant voters who play the blame game. Just hold people accountable for their own actions, and treat everyone with respect and dignity.

    October 14, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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