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Former Florida
Congressman Mark Foley Not to Be Charged

Former Florida
Congressman Mark Foley Not to Be Charged

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Mark Foley, the disgraced Florida congressman whose political career abruptly ended amid allegations that he sent sexually explicit instant messages and e-mails to teenage boys, will not face criminal charges in the state of Florida, investigators told ABC News Friday.

Mark Foley, the disgraced Florida congressman whose political career abruptly ended amid allegations that he sent sexually explicit instant messages and e-mails to teenage boys, sometimes even while the House of Representatives was in session, will not face criminal charges in the state of Florida, investigators told ABC News Friday.

The announcement brings the investigation to a close almost two years to the day after ABC News questioned the Florida congressman about instant messages sent to former congressional pages. Foley resigned hours later, on September 29, 2006.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement Friday that investigators had determined there was "insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges."

Investigators faced an uphill battle in pursuing such charges. The House of Representatives denied requests from Florida officials "to review any computer equipment or e-mails that Foley used while in office."

Foley also denied investigators access to his personal computers, so investigators were unable to obtain original copies of e-mails and instant messages.

"FDLE conducted as thorough and comprehensive investigation as possible considering Congress and Mr. Foley denied us access to critical data," said the department's commissioner, Gerald Bailey, in a statement released with the report. "Should additional information arise which is pertinent to this case, we will ensure it is appropriately investigated."

Florida law enforcement officials began their investigation in November 2006. What some consider the best chance for charges -- an instant message reportedly sent to a 17-year-old boy while Foley was in Pensacola, Fla. in 2003 -- law enforcement officials agree would have been nearly impossible to prosecute. (The Advocate)

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