Report: Former Rep. Massa working to clear his name

Former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) is attempting to clear his name and convince the House Ethics Committee that his chief of staff plotted to remove him from office, according to a local New York paper.

{mosads}A lawyer for Massa told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that the former lawmaker’s chief of staff, Joe Racalto, forged Massa’s signature to give himself a $28,000 raise, in addition to a $40,000 payment that he allegedly received without Massa’s permission.

Massa and Racalto’s lawyers are due in state supreme court on Wednesday to debate the matter. According to the paper, Massa’s lawyer has given the House Ethics Committee access to documents in which Massa has been able to construct “a chain of events that led to his resignation and lays his demise at the feet of his former chief of staff, Joseph Racalto.”

Racalto’s lawyers contend that he received the $40,000 for work that he had done, according to court documents reviewed by the paper.

The House Ethics Committee reopened an investigative subcommittee last month to look into whether members of the House Democratic leadership knew about allegations of Massa acting in a sexually inappropriate manner towards staff before it was reported in the press. If they did know about the allegations, the Ethics Committee will investigate what, if any, actions the lawmakers and their staff took, and whether they jeopardized the well-being of Massa’s staff in doing so.

Massa resigned shortly after the allegations against him arose, citing health concerns.

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