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Corruption Chronicles

Fla. Congressman Pays Mistress Hush Money

A married U.S. congressman who promised to restore morality after a sex scandal forced his predecessor to resign is giving a disgruntled mistress tens of thousands of dollars to avoid being sued.

Democrat Tim Mahoney, who represents West Palm Beach Florida in the U.S. House, campaigned with promises of making the world “more moral” yet he had an extramarital affair with a woman that he hired, at taxpayer expense, and later threatened to fire when she wanted to end the romantic affair.

The mistress (Patricia Allen) threatened to sue the lawmaker for sexual harassment, intimidation and humiliation so he agreed to pay her $121,000, according to a news web site that also posts a lengthy and graphic recording of a nasty phone conversation between the couple.

Ironically, Mahoney was elected following the 2006 resignation of Republican Mark Foley, the veteran congressman embroiled in a sex scandal with teenage boys, most of them congressional pages. Foley eventually checked himself into a rehabilitation facility for alcoholism.

Mahoney capitalized on the scandal, running campaign ads featuring a picture of him and his wife with a logo of “Restoring America’s Values Begins at Home.” But during a campaign stop Mahoney was smitten by Allen, a 50-year-old single mother. He later created a taxpayer-financed job for his mistress to work on his congressional staff in Florida.

Mahoney is up for reelection this November, but the settlement with the mistress prohibits her from making negative comments about him. Senior Democratic leaders in the House, including the chair of the Democratic Caucus, have been working with Mahoney to keep the scandal from hurting his reelection.


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