Shuster, Ethics Leaders to Discuss Spying Allegations

Posted November 7, 2003 at 6:19pm

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), accused by a former aide of directing a spying operation on his GOP primary opponent, has asked to meet with the leaders of the House ethics committee this week.

At a press conference Friday, Shuster flatly contradicted assertions made by Joshua Juda, a 22-year-old former part-time aide who alleged that Shuster and his chief of staff ordered him to conduct surveillance on Michael DelGrosso, who is making a run for Shuster’s seat in next April’s primary.

“At no time did I ever order, direct or ask Joshua to attend any fundraiser for Michael DelGrosso or to monitor Mr. DelGrosso,” Shuster said, adding that “I am satisfied that no member of my staff ordered or directed Joshua to undertake any of the activities indicated in his statement.”

Shuster, who said he accepted responsibility for the incident, said he had requested to meet with Reps. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) and Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), the chairman and ranking member on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, respectively, to discuss the situation.

He said he would ask for “a review of our office policies designed to separate government from politics to assure that we are meeting and exceeding their requirements. This is the best way to assure nothing of this sort ever happens again.”

Juda, who joined the Congressional payroll in April after working on the campaign, charged that Shuster and his chief of staff, Alex Mistri, directed him to monitor DelGrosso on three occasions, including visits to DelGrosso’s home.

Contacted by phone Friday, Juda stood by his story. “It broke my heart to resign,” he said, adding that “I just needed to come clean on this.”