Mahoney to Stay in Race Despite Affairs

Posted October 17, 2008 at 8:28pm

Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) admitted Friday that he had multiple extramarital affairs and that he had paid off fired staffer Patricia Allen, but said he plans to continue to seek re-election. The House ethics committee announced it would review the matter and interview Mahoney. Mahoney told ABC News that he paid Allen $60,000, her lawyers $40,000 and his lawyers $20,000, all out of his personal funds, “to stop and sweep it under the rug.” “I wanted to hide it. I was ashamed of it,” Mahoney said. “I wanted to make sure that if I could figure out a way to make it go away that I could.” Mahoney said the decision to pay off Allen was a mistake, but said it was not paid for out of campaign funds and therefore did not violate any law. In addition to Allen, he admitted to a second affair with a local Florida official. In the 20-minute ABC interview, Mahoney did not say exactly how many affairs he had. “I don’t know what other women are going to come out,” he said. Mahoney said he had considered withdrawing from the race but had decided to go forward. “I haven’t violated my oath of office. I haven’t broken any laws. I have let my constituents down. My personal behavior has been unacceptable. … I just think at this stage of the game, a couple of weeks to go, it’s just best to let the people of the 16th Congressional district make the decision as to who they want to represent them.” Mahoney also said that House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) had confronted him about rumors of the affair, telling him, “If that’s happening, stop.” “It wasn’t a discussion, it wasn’t a meeting, it was a statement,” Mahoney said.