GOP House candidate placed on leave from longtime position after sexual misconduct allegation

GOP House candidate placed on leave from longtime position after sexual misconduct allegation
© Greg Nash

Pennsylvania GOP congressional candidate Marty Nothstein was placed on unpaid leave as executive director of the Lehigh Valley velodrome in February after the company’s board discovered he was the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation, The Morning Call reported Friday.

The claim, the details of which were not immediately known, was reportedly filed with a U.S. Olympic-related organization and dates back to 2000, the year Nothstein won an Olympic gold medal.

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Jonathan Whiteman, a USA Cycling risk protection manager who fields abuse claims, told Morning Call that his office received the complaint about Nothstein on Oct. 30. That was 11 days after Nothstein publicly announced his bid for Congress.

Nothstein told the outlet the accusations are “100 percent false” and a “political hit job.”

"An anonymous tipster planted a clearly false allegation in hopes of triggering an investigation. Tipsters then turned around and planted a story with the media that I was under investigation. These days, that’s all it takes to smear someone," he added at a press conference Friday.

A source told The Morning Call the investigation was being led by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an independent wing of the congressionally sanctioned U.S. Olympic Committee.

Nothstein is the GOP candidate for Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district and is facing Democrat Susan Wild. The seat is being vacated by moderate GOP Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentPennsylvania New Members 2019 Dem wins leave behind a more conservative GOP conference How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms MORE (Pa.).

Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRetired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Retired admiral who oversaw bin Laden raid doubles down on Trump criticism Trump dismisses criticism from Navy SEAL who led Osama bin Laden mission MORE won the district by one point in 2016, and The Cook Political Report lists the race as “Lean Democratic.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated when the claim against Nothstein was made.