Massa Facing Harassment Accusation, Will Resign

March 6, 2010

Representative Eric J. Massa, a freshman Democrat from upstate New York who faces an investigation after being accused of harassing a male aide, said Friday that he would resign next week.
Mr. Massa was reported to the House ethics committee last month after a member of his Congressional staff accused him of harassment, according to a senior Congressional official who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
Mr. Massa, who represents New York’s 29th District, abandoned his re-election campaign on Wednesday, after the accusation became public, saying then that he would retire at the end of his term.
In a statement that announced he would resign Monday, Mr. Massa expressed resentment at the handling of the accusation against him. ”After I decided not to run again I was told, for the first time, that a member of my staff believed I had made statements that made him feel ‘uncomfortable,’ ” he wrote. ”I was told that a report had been filed with the Congressional ethics committee. At no point prior to this had any member of the ethics committee communicated with me directly.”
Mr. Massa said he learned of the complaint only by reading it on the Internet. He insisted that he had already decided to abandon his re-election bid for medical reasons.
Still, he added, ”I own this reality.”

Read more: (David M. Halbfinger and Raymond Hernandez, “Representative Facing Harassment Accusation Will Resign,” The New York Times, 03/06/10)