Caught With Pot: House Pages Ousted

Eleven teen-age House pages have been dismissed from the program after at least one of them brought marijuana to their Capitol Hill dormitory, congressional sources said Wednesday.

None of those involved were identified.

The incident, first reported Wednesday by the the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, occurred after a female page who has family in the Washington, D.C., invited fellow pages to her home, where marijuana was used and the teen-agers were unsupervised.

That page later brought drugs to the dormitory and was turned in to authorities by someone else, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was unclear if any other disciplinary action would be taken.

"We don't comment on personnel matters," said John Feehery, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

The House normally has 72 pages, all 16 to 18 years old, serving as messengers and performing other duties when not attending education programs. They are appointed by House members of both parties from their home districts and must sign a code of conduct.

Scandal has rocked the program periodically, most seriously in the early 1980s when former Reps. Gerry Studds, D-Mass, and Daniel Crane, R-Ill., were censured for sexual misconduct with pages. In 1996, five pages were dismissed for underage drinking.