Department investigators looking into former Arizona
representative Jim Kolbe's relationships with House pages
found no wrongdoing and have closed their inquiry,
In a statement
Wednesday, Kolbe and his Washington lawyers said they
received notice Tuesday that investigators had completed a
preliminary inquiry opened by federal prosecutors last
fall, and saw no reason to pursue it further.
The U.S. attorney
for Arizona, Daniel Knauss, had no immediate comment,
said his spokesman, Wyn Hornbuckle.
looking into Kolbe's relationships with House pages
after hearing reports that he took a Fourth of July camping
trip to the Grand Canyon with two former pages and
others in 1996.
The inquiry was
launched amid a separate investigation into sexually
explicit messages sent to high school-age
congressional pages by Republican former Florida
representative Mark Foley, who resigned over the issue
action by the Justice Department is powerful evidence that
the allegations of wrongdoing were unfounded,'' said Kolbe,
a Republican. ''I am thankful for the department's
objective review of this matter and glad to have
finally put this issue to rest.''
represented a Tucson-area district for 22 years, was the
House's only openly gay Republican; he retired at the end of
his term last year. He was pulled into the Foley
scandal when he acknowledged a former page had
complained in 2001 or 2002 about e-mails the page had
received from Foley that made him feel uncomfortable.
Kolbe said at the
time that he had referred the matter to the House clerk
and that someone from his office had also talked to Foley
A House ethics
panel, which investigated the House leaders' handling of
complaints about Foley, found in December that lawmakers and
aides ''failed to exercise appropriate diligence and
oversight.'' The panel, however, said no rules had
been broken and no one should be punished.
Kolbe, 64, is now
a fellow at the German Marshall Fund think tank and a
consultant at Kissinger McLarty Associates. He focuses on
issues that were his priorities when he was in
Congress, including trade, aid, and migration. (AP)