A scheduled lunch date with a young male staffer from the office of Congressman Barney Frank prompted former Congressman Eric Massa's chief of staff to report his boss to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in October, The Washington Post reports.
Congressional sources told the Post that chief of staff Joe Racalto was concerned that Massa, a Democrat from New York, showed a "pattern" of meeting with young gay men.
"According to a person briefed on the call, Racalto was concerned that the lunch followed a pattern by Massa -- who is married and has two children -- of trying to spend time alone with young gay men with no ostensible work purpose. Racalto, according to this person, also alerted Frank's chief of staff. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of the matter."
The revelations suggest that Democratic leadership was aware of complaints about Massa longer than previously acknowledged. Although Massa resigned Monday, Republicans want to press the inquiry about his behavior, as Democrats did with former Congressman Mark Foley in 2006.
"GOP leaders cited as precedent the committee's 2006 decision to investigate claims that Mark Foley, a Florida Republican, sent sexually explicit messages to former male pages. The committee's decision came after Foley stepped down from Congress," the Post reported. "That inquiry also examined how some House leaders ignored claims about Foley's conduct while others tried to shield his behavior from public disclosure."