Former Rep. Eric Massa gave his ex-chief of staff a $40,000 check after he announced he would resign, the Washington Post reported Monday.
Federal campaign finance records show that Joe Racalto was paid the sum on March 4, which Massa (D-N.Y.) described as a "campaign management fee."
A lawyer for Racalto told the Post that the payment was for work he did for Massa's 2010 reelection campaign but that he asked for the payment to be deferred until he learned his boss would resign.
Here is more from the Post:
The payment came at a unusual confluence of events. Because of the resignation, Massa's reelection campaign was, for all practical purposes, abruptly ending. At the same time, the House ethics committee and numerous reporters were contacting Racalto, seeking to interview him about allegations that his boss had sexually harassed and groped staff. Racalto, as The Post reported last week, knew the most about several male staffers' repeated complaints concerning Massa's lewd talk and sexual touching. He had also told staffers that he was sexually harassed by Massa.
Racalto's lawyer, Camilla McKinney, said the $40,000 amount was determined under a contract. She said she did not know immediately the dates of the contract, and could not provide a copy. McKinney said Racalto's work began in December 2008, during the transition between Massa's election to Congress and his being sworn into office.
Massa's lawyer, Milo Silverstein, was not immediately available for comment.
Numerous staffers in the congressman's office said they were not aware that Racalto was doing work in 2009 and early 2010 toward Massa's reelection.