Massa to Resign After Ethics Charge

March 6, 2010

Further eroding their party’s prospects of retaining its large House majority this fall, two Democrats — one a freshman under investigation and the other a seven-term veteran — both announced their departures last week. In addition, a House Republican said he would be leaving Congress early to focus on his gubernatorial race, quickly opening up a spot in his strongly GOP-leaning district.
Freshman Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., was set to resign March 8, while Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., will serve out his term. Meanwhile, Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., will soon resign to devote his time to a run for governor.
Massa, 50, initially pushed back at a report saying the House ethics committee had been alerted to a sexual harassment claim against him and said he would retire at the end of his term, citing a recurrence of cancer. He told reporters March 3 that he had “used salty language” with staff, particularly when angry and in private, and said he had apologized to anyone he offended. He then complained that “those kind of articles . . . are a symptom of what’s wrong with this city.” Without being specific, the committee issued a statement March 4 saying it was probing allegations against Massa. On March 5, Massa said he would resign early, with a “profound sense of failure and a deep apology.”

Read more: (Greg Giroux, “Massa to Resign After Ethics Charge; Delahunt Retiring, Deal to Quit Soon,” CQ Weekly, 03/06/10)