Republican Rep. Resigns Over Sexual E-mails to Underage Male Interns

Fri. September 29, 2006 12:00 AM by

Anti-gay Republican Congressman Mark Foley resigns in disgrace after emails to a 16yo congressional page are revealed by ABC News

Washington D.C. - Florida Republican Rep. Mark Foley resigned from the U.S. Congress on Friday after reports that he sent sexually inappropriate e-mails to underage congressional male interns were revealed.

Reuters reports that Foley, a six-term state representative and chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children, said he would resign immediately after ABC News reported he sent messages to current and former congressional pages with repeated references to sexual organs and acts.

According to Reuters, Foley apparently sent the e-mails in August 2005, when one male page was 16 years old.

CNN reports that in the e-mails, which were obtained by the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Foley discussed a second page, saying "I just emailed [him]... hes such a nice guy... acts much older than his age... he's in great shape... i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym... whats school like for you this year?"

The young man, who forwarded the e-mails to another congressional staffer, called the e-mails "sick, sick, sick," reports CNN.

A spokesman for Foley told CNN the congressman acknowledged he had an e-mail exchange with the former page but flatly denied that it was anything inappropriate.

"Today I have delivered a letter to the Speaker of the House informing him of my decision to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective today," Foley said in a media statement issued Friday. "I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois told CNN he supported Foley's resignation.

"He's done, as of now; he's done the right thing," Hastert said, reports CNN. "I've asked the head of the Page board to look into this issue regarding Congressman Foley. We want to make sure that all of our pages are safe, and the page system is safe."

According to ABC News, Foley's aides initially blamed Democratic rival Tim Mahoney and Democrats with attempting to smear the congressman before the election.

The campaign for Mahoney, who trails Foley in the polls, told ABC News that it didn't release the e-mails and wouldn't make them part of the campaign. In a statement released by Mahoney spokesman Jessica Santillo, the campaign referred to the boy as an "alleged victim."

"The seriousness of these allegations goes far beyond the tit for tat of a political campaign," Santillo’s statement read. "This is a matter for the appropriate authorities to investigate. I believe Mr. Foley deserves the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven true or false."

Written By Troy Espera

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