E-mails[ edit ] In , Foley sent five e-mails to a year-old former page from Monroe , Louisiana  who had been sponsored by Rep. Rodney Alexander R — LA. They were the first messages to be made public in the scandal. Foley observed that another male page to whom he had also written was "in really great shape The page asked "if you can, please tell Rodney [Alexander] about this", and in addition, mentioned a female page who had been warned about a Congressman who "hit on" interns.
The page, who was 17 years old at the time, declined the offer. The same report stated that he e-mailed another with a request for a photograph of his erect penis. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald , and the Fox News Channel acquired copies of these e-mails in November , but decided not to publish a story. Petersburg Times, they received the e-mails from a source in Alexander's office. Petersburg Times editors decided the exchange was probably just "friendly chit-chat".
Nonetheless, they assigned two reporters to investigate in November The recipient of the e-mail refused to cooperate with the reporters, and no other pages they interviewed had complaints about correspondence with Foley.
The Times revisited their investigation "more than once", ultimately choosing not to break the story. Silverstein subsequently wrote a story on the e-mails, which was cancelled due to a lack of absolute proof that Foley was anything more than "creepy". He said that his source "was not working in concert with the national Democratic Party" but was "genuinely disgusted" by Foley's behavior. Silverstein himself passed the information to other media organizations after cancelling the story.
In August , ABC News reporter Brian Ross received the initial e-mails from a Republican source but did not write a story for over a month because he was working on other stories. Hudson was at the time employed by the Human Rights Campaign. When the HRC found out about Hudson's activity during the week of October 25, , it publicly fired him for misusing its resources.
The political humor blog Wonkette drew readers' attention to the posted e-mails on September Both were former pages — the first was a Republican who would "never vote for a Democrat", and the second was a Democrat from the same class as the two pages who received the messages. On the first occasion, he drove up in his BMW automobile during a nighttime "mixer" party.
Students came out of the dorm to talk with him and were warned away by an adult supervisor in the page program, who shooed them back inside. He was reportedly turned away by a security guard. In communications with one of the pages, who chose to remain anonymous, Foley appeared to emphasize that while he assessed the attractions and orientation of pages, he waited until they had left the program to engage the youth in erotic activities: According to the Times: In the messages, Maf54 described how years earlier, he had looked to see whether the former page had an erection in his tight white pants while the then-teenager was working near the congressman.
Maf54 also speculated about the sexual attributes of other males in the same page class, including the observation that one young man was "well hung. In one message, Maf54 inquired about the length and direction of the youth's erection. According to the former page's account, "[t]he two had wine and pizza on a backyard patio and then retired to a spare bedroom.
Fordham said that he asked Foley if they were authentic, and that Foley replied, "Probably. Once the scandal broke in full, Foley had virtually no chance of staying in Congress. Hastert and Reynolds let it be known that if Foley did not sign the resignation letter, they would have sought his expulsion from the House. Polls showed him losing badly to his Democratic challenger, businessman Tim Mahoney.
On October 2, Foley checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic for alcoholism. He is absolutely, positively not a pedophile.
However, the public revelation of his identity, Anthony Mercieca, a year-old Catholic priest now living in Malta , came through the investigative reporting of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
He told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune about a number of intimate occasions that the priest claimed "Foley might perceive as sexually inappropriate", such as "massaging Foley while the boy was naked, skinny-dipping together at a secluded lake in Lake Worth and being naked in the same room on overnight trips.
It was not what you call intercourse There was no rape or anything Maybe light touches here or there. So it was sort of more like a spontaneous thing. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The first to be made public involves a rafting trip Kolbe took on the Colorado River with two recently graduated, year-old male pages, as well as Kolbe's sister, five of his staffers, and Gary Cummins, the deputy superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park at the time.
An anonymous participant told NBC that he was "creeped out" by the attention Kolbe paid to one of the pages, adding that Kolbe did a lot of "fawning, petting and touching" on the teenager's arms, shoulders and back. The page in question declined to address that statement, telling NBC, "I just don't want to get into this She then resigned abruptly, saying "I have decided to pursue another job opportunity and today is my last day.
The page was 16 at the time and had not reported the incident. The Clerk is responsible for the effective administration of all personnel matters, including those relating to the house pages. The two Clerks of the House during the scandal were Jeff Trandahl and Karen Haas ; the latter was elevated to the position from being floor assistant for Hastert  after Trandahl resigned on November 18, An adult by the time of his meeting with Wolfe, he described having been "the recipient of many inappropriate sexual communications from Foley" while a minor.
Wolfe contacted Foley's office for comment, and was rebuffed. Nevertheless, he asserts about Foley's staff: Generally speaking, he was "known to be extraordinarily friendly in a way that made some [pages] uncomfortable. It was no secret that Foley had a special interest in male pages.
According to The Washington Post, these messages were sexually explicit, a characterization that Kolbe's press secretary denied. The Washington Post reported that Kolbe confronted Foley about the messages.
Kolbe's press secretary said that unspecified "corrective action" was taken. Kolbe said that, through his staff, he passed the complaint on to Trandahl and to Foley's office. Kolbe said that he did not confront Foley about the matter, and that he recalled that the incident had taken place later than Palmer , Hastert's chief of staff, describing Foley's behavior generally but not mentioning the incident at the pages' dormitory.
This account further stated that Fordham followed up a couple of days later with Palmer, who replied that he had "informed the Speaker" and "dealt with it" by talking to Foley directly. He stated that he regularly updated Hastert's counsel and floor manager, Ted Van Der Meid, about a "problem group of members and staff who spent too much time socializing with pages outside of official duties. Alexander's chief of staff met with Mike Stokke, Hastert's deputy chief of staff in the fall of Contradictory statements have made it unclear whether they actually read the e-mails.
The other two congressional representatives on the House Page Committee including the only Democrat were not informed, and no formal investigative or disciplinary action was taken. Both Reynolds and Boehner say that they notified Hastert; he says he can't recall that and questions whether it is true. According to The Washington Post, "Republican insiders said Reynolds spoke out because he was angry that Hastert appeared willing to let him take the blame for the party leadership's silence.
Boehner initially said that he informed Hastert, and that Hastert assured him "we're taking care of it. Shimkus said he "was asked to keep this in confidence" because the parents of the page didn't want the incident publicized. Kildee said that he was "very upset" that he had not been informed of the e-mails. He said, "I should have been told. The whole House Page Board should have been told. Peggy Sampson has supervised Republican pages since , and several former pages say that she warned them about Mark Foley.
No Democratic pages have said they were warned about Foley, and several contacted by ABC News said they had not been told about him. Boehner added that Hastert replied that the complaint "had been taken care of", and confirmed his account under oath before the House Ethics Committee.
Alexander's chief of staff in November Hastert is unusually close to his top staffers; he lives with Palmer and Stokke, who have worked for him for decades, and they commute back to Illinois together on weekends. He also condemned Foley for misleading him, Shimkus and the organizations with whom he'd worked to strengthen laws against exploiting children.
We found out about it and asked him to resign. A conference call on October 2 with about House Republicans had no calls for a resignation. He said, "I haven't done anything wrong" and re-affirmed that he had only recently learned about any problems involving Foley and the pages: I don't know who knew what or when — that's why we've asked for an investigation. I don't know what else I could have done. According to conservative columnist Robert Novak , Reynolds convinced a reluctant Foley to run for re-election even after finding out about his questionable e-mails.
ABC reported that Fordham had offered to give them an exclusive on the resignation if they withheld the text of the IMs. Fordham had previously served as Foley's Chief of Staff.
Shimkus did not share the information with Reps. Kildee or Capito, the other members of the Page Board. Shimkus later described Foley as a "slimeball", and regretted not pressing further.
Unlike Reynolds, he had little difficulty winning re-election. John Boehner[ edit ] Boehner told The Washington Post that he learned of the inappropriate contact in the spring.
Boehner moved to immediately refer Pelosi's resolution to the Ethics Committee without further debate and the House unanimously agreed. The subcommittee has already sent subpoenas and has appointed Louis Freeh as a special advisor. The committee opened an expansive investigation into the unfolding scandal on 5 October by approving nearly four dozen subpoenas for witnesses and documents. As a result, its chairman has said it will focus on the "conduct of House members, officers and staff related to information concerning improper conduct involving members and current and former pages".
The panel did not recommend any sanctions for their failure to stop Foley. The investigation validated Trandahl's and Fordham's reports and concluded that Hastert's chief of staff first learned of Foley's conduct in or , and that Hastert's chief counsel had been aware of concerns for nearly a decade.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales , Hastert requested an investigation into Foley's actions, specifically into the explicit IMs that had recently surfaced.