Massa Claims Illness Caused Retirement

March 4, 2010

Congressman Eric Massa says it is health concerns, not claims that he sexually harassed a male staff member, that prompted his decision to not seek a second term.
Massa, 50, is a freshman Democrat representing a Republican- leaning New York district. He is the 15th Democratic member of the House to not seek re-election this year.
Massa denied reports Wednesday that he is leaving because of harassment charges pending before the House Ethics Committee.
Massa, a former Naval officer, acknowledged using “salty language”” in his office, but that’s it:
“Do I [use], or have I ever used, salty language when I’m angry, especially in the privacy of my inner office, or even at home? Yes, I have. And I have apologized to those where it’s appropriate,” Massa said. “But those kinds of articles, unsubstantiated without fact or backing, are a symptom of what’s wrong with this city, and it’s why so many have looked at the absolute gridlock in Washington, the intense partisanship without rational thought, and decided, like I, I do not have the life energy to fight all the battles all the time.”
Massa made his statement after multiple news outlets reported that the ethics committee had received a sexual harassment complaint about the congressman from a male staffer in his office.

Read more: (Susan Ferrechio, “Massa Claims Illness Caused Retirement,” The Washington Examiner, 03/04/10)