More On Massa

Democrats got some unwelcome news on the ethics front in Congress on Wednesday, as the House ethics committee voted to set up an investigative subcommittee to review the sexual stories surrounding former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY).

"The allegations surrounding former Representative Massa are serious and warrant a full and complete investigation," said a statement from the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

The panel "unanimously voted to establish an investigative subcommittee to conduct a full and complete inquiry," which will review the case, and determine if the full committee should investigate further.

One point that's certain to be reviewed is what staffers did about Massa's actions and whether there was any kind of cover-up by Democrats about misconduct by the former Congressman, something they have denied.

Massa resigned in early March after allegations surfaced of sexual harassment involving male staffers in his office.

The decision comes after several days of new reports related to Massa over the past week, featuring a $40,000 check to Massa's chief of staff from the Congressman's campaign account.

Lawyers for Massa said the check was not authorized, and even raised the specter that former aide Joe Racalto had forged the Congressman's signature on the check.

Racalto's lawyer said the check was payment for extra work on the Congressman's election efforts, characterizing it as a "campaign management fee."

Racalto himself has filed a sexual harassment complaint against his former boss.

The move by the ethics committee means that this issue won't be going away anytime soon, and should give Republicans the chance to raise ethics questions even deeper into this mid-term election year.

Democrats have denied they had any early warnings about Massa's actions, saying that when senior staffers found out in early February, they moved quickly to deal with the issue.

Democrats got some unwelcome news on the ethics front in Congress on Wednesday, as the House ethics committee voted to set up an investigative subcommittee to review the sexual stories surrounding former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY). "The allegations surrounding former Representative Massa are serious and warrant a full and complete ...

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