Blockbuster story out from

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Blockbuster story out from Roll Call (sub.req.)

Chairman of the House Page Board, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) interviewed Foley last year about some of the contacts with the page. The House clerk, who is also a member of the Board, was also present. Speaker Hastert’s office was informed of the interview, but according to GOP leadership sources who spoke to Roll Call, Hastert himself was not informed.

Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), the only Democrat on the Board, was not informed of the interview, according to Roll Call.

Rep. Shimkus released the following statement …

“As chairman of the bipartisan House Page Board in late 2005, I was notified by the then Clerk of the House, who manages the Page Program, that he had been told by Congressman Rodney Alexander about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter.

“In that email exchange, Congressman Foley asked about the former Page’s well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph. When asked about the email exchange, Congressman Foley said he expressed concern about the Page’s well-being and wanted a photo to see that the former Page was alright.

“Congressman Foley told the Clerk and me that he was simply acting as a mentor to this former House Page and that nothing inappropriate had occurred. Nevertheless, we ordered Congressman Foley to cease all contact with this former House Page to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. We also advised him to be especially mindful of his conduct with respect to current and former House Pages, and he assured us he would do so. I received no subsequent complaints about his behavior nor was I ever made aware of any additional emails.

“It has become clear to me today, based on information I only now have learned, that Congressman Foley was not honest about his conduct.

“As Chairman of the House Page Board, I am working with the Clerk to fully review this incident and determine what actions need to be taken.

“The House Page Program has been an integral part of the House of Representatives for many decades. Preserving the integrity of the House Page Program is of utmost importance to me and to the House of Representatives, and we intend to uphold and protect its values and traditions.”

The whole matter has been turned over to the House ethics committee.

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