No Charges Expected Against Ex-Rep. Foley

mark foley capitol generic CBS/AP

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley isn't expected to face charges after a lengthy investigation into his lurid messages to underage congressional pages, two federal law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said the results of a state investigation would be announced Friday.

They said neither state nor federal charges were expected, although an FBI investigation has not been closed yet.

Foley resigned in 2006 after being confronted with the e-mails and instant messages he sent to male pages. He has since been under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI.

Foley's attorney, David Roth, has acknowledged that Foley sent the messages to the teenagers, but has maintained that the Florida Republican never had inappropriate contact with minors. Roth had no immediate comment on the pending announcement.

Shortly after Foley's resignation, Roth announced Foley was gay and had been molested by a priest as a teenage altar boy. Foley also checked himself into an Arizona treatment facility for what his attorneys said was "alcoholism and other behavioral problems."

"Mark does not blame the trauma he sustained as a young adolescent for his totally inappropriate e-mails and (instant messages). He continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct," Roth said at the time.

Foley represented parts of Palm Beach County for 12 years. He has kept a low profile since coming out of rehabilitation late last year but has been seen occasionally in the West Palm Beach area.

Foley was seen as a shoe-in for re-election in 2006. His resignation received national attention as Democrats were trying to win 15 Republican seats to regain power in the House. Democrat Tim Mahoney won the election after Republicans had just weeks to select a new candidate to replace Foley, whose name remained on the ballot.

Then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and other Republican leaders came under fire for their handling of the Foley matter. Hastert had claimed he did not learn of Foley's messages to the teens until the scandal broke. A House ethics committee concluded in December 2006 that Hastert actually had heard about the e-mails months earlier, as had other Republicans, but the panel did not find that anyone broke rules.

Florida authorities had said their investigation was hampered because neither Foley nor the House would let its investigators examine his congressional computers.

In a letter to the FDLE obtained by The Associated Press, House Deputy General Counsel Kerry Kircher wrote that because the data "may contain legislative information that is constitutionally privileged ... and because Mr. Foley has not waived that privilege ... we cannot simply give you access."

The Florida agency had been working with the FBI and Foley's attorneys to gain access to information on the computers. Foley's attorneys have declined to comment throughout the investigation.

Foley himself was the only person who could release the computers for review, but he had refused. It was not immediately clear what information from the computers investigators had been able to review - if any - before concluding their investigation.

House officials said they did not find any sexually explicit photos in a review of some e-mails Foley sent and received through his congressional account, but the e-mails did not include all of Foley's communications.

Some may have been deleted from the main congressional computer server but would likely still have been accessible from an examination of the actual computer hard drives.
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley isn't expected to face charges after a lengthy investigation into his lurid messages to underage congressional pages, two federal law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said the results of a state investigation would be announced Friday.

They said neither state nor federal charges were expected, although an FBI investigation has not been closed yet.

Foley resigned in 2006 after being confronted with the e-mails and instant messages he sent to male pages. He has since been under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI.

Foley's attorney, David Roth, has acknowledged that Foley sent the messages to the teenagers, but has maintained that the Florida Republican never had inappropriate contact with minors. Roth had no immediate comment on the pending announcement.

Shortly after Foley's resignation, Roth announced Foley was gay and had been molested by a priest as a teenage altar boy. Foley also checked himself into an Arizona treatment facility for what his attorneys said was "alcoholism and other behavioral problems."

"Mark does not blame the trauma he sustained as a young adolescent for his totally inappropriate e-mails and (instant messages). He continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct," Roth said at the time.

Foley represented parts of Palm Beach County for 12 years. He has kept a low profile since coming out of rehabilitation late last year but has been seen occasionally in the West Palm Beach area.

Foley was seen as a shoe-in for re-election in 2006. His resignation received national attention as Democrats were trying to win 15 Republican seats to regain power in the House. Democrat Tim Mahoney won the election after Republicans had just weeks to select a new candidate to replace Foley, whose name remained on the ballot.

Then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and other Republican leaders came under fire for their handling of the Foley matter. Hastert had claimed he did not learn of Foley's messages to the teens until the scandal broke. A House ethics committee concluded in December 2006 that Hastert actually had heard about the e-mails months earlier, as had other Republicans, but the panel did not find that anyone broke rules.

Florida authorities had said their investigation was hampered because neither Foley nor the House would let its investigators examine his congressional computers.

In a letter to the FDLE obtained by The Associated Press, House Deputy General Counsel Kerry Kircher wrote that because the data "may contain legislative information that is constitutionally privileged ... and because Mr. Foley has not waived that privilege ... we cannot simply give you access."

The Florida agency had been working with the FBI and Foley's attorneys to gain access to information on the computers. Foley's attorneys have declined to comment throughout the investigation.

Foley himself was the only person who could release the computers for review, but he had refused. It was not immediately clear what information from the computers investigators had been able to review - if any - before concluding their investigation.

House officials said they did not find any sexually explicit photos in a review of some e-mails Foley sent and received through his congressional account, but the e-mails did not include all of Foley's communications.

Some may have been deleted from the main congressional computer server but would likely still have been accessible from an examination of the actual computer hard drives.
  • CBSNews

Comments