WASHINGTON - September 29 - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter today to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, better known as the ethics committee, asking for an investigation into Rep. Mark Foley's (R-Fla.) emails to a 16-year-old former House page.
Yesterday, ABC News reported that, using a personal email account, Rep. Foley sent a number of emails to a former page. The emails asked the page his age, how school was and what he wanted for his birthday. Rep. Foley also requested the boy's photograph.
In 1983, the House censured two members of Congress, Reps. Dan Crane (R-Ill.) and Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) for having sexual relationships with pages. In 1990, the ethics committee publicly disapproved of the conduct of Rep. Gus Savage (D-Ill.), who had made sexual advances to a Peace Corps volunteer. In all three cases, the ethics committee relied on the House rule prohibiting conduct that does not reflect creditably on the House.
Based on these precedents, CREW asked the ethics committee to investigate Rep. Foley's E-mails to the former page.
Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today, "The House of Representatives has the responsibility to protect teenagers who come to Congress to learn about the legislative process. The ethics committee has a moral obligation to investigate any allegation that a page has been subjected to sexual advances by a member of Congress and, should the allegations prove true, take swift action to punish the offender." Sloan continued, "The ethics committee should determine whether Rep. Foley's emails to the former page were improper."
CREW's letter and Rep. Foley's e-mails are available at http://www.citizensforethics.org.