Monday, October 13, 2008

Report: Rep. Mahoney Settles Suit With Ex-Mistress

Democratic representative pays more than $100,000 to ex-mistress and former staff aide who sued after he threatened her job.

Rep. Tim Mahoney has paid $121,000 to a former mistress who worked on his staff and had sued him after he threatened her job when she tried to end the relationship, former and current staff aides told ABC News on Monday.

Mahoney, D-Fla., won his congressional seat in 2006 after Republican Rep. Mark Foley was forced to resign in the wake of a scandal involving a congressional page.

According to ABC News, Mahoney, who is married, started the affair with Patricia Allen while campaigning against Foley on a morality platform. Allen came on to his staff after he won the election in 2006, but when complaints about the affair surfaced, Mahoney moved Allen to the campaign staff, aides told the broadcast network.

ABC reported Allen tried to break off the affair after learning Mahoney was supposedly cheating on her and his wife with other women. In response, he threatened her job.

"You work at my pleasure," Mahoney told Allen in a taped Jan. 20, 2008, telephone call played for Mahoney staffers, ABC reported.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel spoke to Mahoney in early 2007 about his personal conduct, FOX News confirmed Monday. Emanuel formerly headed up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the panel charged with electing Democrats to Congress.

Sources told FOX News that Emanuel did not know the woman was a staff aide or payments were being offered to her until informed by ABC News.

"Upon hearing a rumor, Congressman Emanuel confronted Congressman Mahoney, told him he was in public life and had a responsibility to act accordingly and appropriately, and urged him to do so. They had no further conversations on this topic," an aide to Emanuel said in a statement.

Asked about the affair, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she didn't know anything about the financial settlement.

"This is completely news to me," Pelosi said when pressed on whether the Democratic leadership kept quiet about the affair so as not to hurt his re-election chances. 

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the DCCC this year, declined to answer a question about Mahoney.

Mahoney is one of the most-endangered Democrats this election cycle.West Palm Beach is a conservative-leaning community that gave Bush an 8 point margin of victory in 2004.

It's widely argued that Mahoney won in 2006 less on his own merit than because of the scandal surrounding Foley. Knowing he'd be in the GOP cross hairs this cycle, Mahoney raised $2.5 million for re-election, but he faces a stiff challenge from Republican Tom Rooney, whose family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Source:  Fox News.