BY Julie Bolcer
March 08 2010 9:00 AM ET
Congressman Eric Massa of New York took to the airwaves Sunday to explain charges that he sexually harassed a male staffer, which prompted his resignation from the House effective Monday afternoon.
The first-term Democrat announced Wednesday that he would not seek reelection because of health considerations, but afterward, news of the sexual harassment complaint broke. According to City Hall News, during his final weekly radio show Sunday morning, Massa claimed the sequence of events represented a conspiracy on behalf of Democratic leadership, which wanted to remove him before reconciliation votes on health care reform because he voted against the bill in November.
Massa provided his account of the sexual harassment complaint against him.
“According to Massa, the sexual harassment complaint stemmed from an incident during a wedding on New Year’s Eve last year,” reports City Hall News. “Sometime soon after midnight, Massa said, a drunken male staffer made a lurid comment to Massa about dancing with one of the bridesmaids at the reception.”
“A staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid. His points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that,” Massa said. “And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, 'Pal, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.' And then [I] tussled the guy’s hair, and left.”
Massa said that the man to whom he directed the comment never complained to the House Ethics Committee. He said that another staffer reported it, and he only learned about it after he announced he would not run for reelection.
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