House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for an ethics investigation following a news report that Florida Democrat Tim Mahoney had an affair with a staffer, then paid her $121,000 to dodge a sexual harassment suit. The congressman has also called for an investigation, saying he's confident he will be vindicated.
"These charges must be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the House Ethics Committee," said Pelosi. ABC News reported that the married congressman paid a legal settlement to a staffer with whom he was having an affair and secured a job for her at a consulting company. The controversy threatens the West Palm Beach seat already viewed as vulnerable by the Republicans. It was vacated by Republican Mark Foley in 2006 after his sexually charged emails to male pages surfaced.