Dem Massa Retiring Amid Harassment Allegations

He cites health; male staffer accuses him
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2010 5:25 PM CST
Eric Massa in a 2006 file photo.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)
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(Newser) – Democrat Eric Massa will retire from the House of Representatives after only one term. The congressman announced his surprise decision amid allegations that he sexually harassed a 20-year-old male staffer, reports Politico. Massa, who's married with two children, said there was no truth to the allegations, though he admitted to sometimes using "salty language, especially in the privacy of my inner office." He said he had "apologized to those where it's appropriate."

"When someone makes a decision to leave Congress, everybody says everything. I have health issues," Massa said. The congressman has non-Hodgkins lymphona, and doctors have told him to take it easy. He said press reports of sexual harassment, "unsubstantiated without fact or backing, are a symptom of what's wrong with this city." House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he was aware of the allegations, which are reportedly before the House ethics committee.

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