Mahoney, first elected to the House in 2006, is facing allegations that he paid $121,000 to a former aide, Patricia Allen, that he had allegedly had an affair with. Allen threatned to sue Mahoney for sexual harassment after she was fired, and Mahoney has admitted to using personal funds to cover a settlement with Allen and her lawyers. The allegations about Mahoney were first reported by ABC News.
The network has also reported Mahoney allegedly had a second affair with an official in Martin County, Florida.
Mahoney's re-election campaign did not have a comment on his possible retirement at press time.
Mahoney has asked the House ethics committee to investigate the matter, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has also called on the panel to look into the issue.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House GOP leaders are attempting to turn the scandal into a broader conspiracy similar to the one that brought down former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who represented the same district. Foley's political career ended when it was reported in Oct. 2006 - also by ABC News - that he had been having improper communications with teenage male pages who worked on the House floor. Republican leaders, including then Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and his top aides were aware of Foley's contacts with the pages but took no action.
Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), respectively the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Democratic Caucus, were aware of rumors about Mahoney's relationship with Allen and confronted him about the issue. Pelosi, for her part, said she knew nothing of the situation until ABC News broke the Mahoney story.
Mahoney has issued a public apology to his family for the scandal, but has denied any illegal behavior.
The AP reported on Wednesday that the FBI has begun a preliminary investigation into Mahoney's settlement with Allen. The Palm Beach Post reported this afternoon that protestors had gathered outside his office, calling on him to resign.