Washington, D.C. – As he had indicated on Friday, Rep. Eric Massa (D-Corning) has resigned from the House of Representatives.
Paperwork for Massa’s resignation was filed Friday with the House to take effect Monday, March 8, at 5 p.m.
Last Wednesday, Massa made the surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election for his seat in the 29th District and cited health reasons. He explained that in December he suffered his third cancer reccurrence, calling the experience "intense and personal."
Prior to those statements, reports surfaced alleging that Massa sexually harassed a male staffer. The House ethics panel is reviewing a complaint against Massa by a male staffer who reportedly "felt uncomfortable" in a situation with Massa laden with sexual overtones.
Since then, Massa spoke his mind on a radio program that originated in Hornell, N.Y. He claimed the investigation of the House Ethics Committee deals with the New Year's wedding of a staffer and a misunderstood incident which took place in the presence of many.
He blamed Democrats in Washington for putting people up to this to "get him out of the way" so Healthcare Reform can be passed.
“They will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten of me, and it will pass. You connect the dots. You ask the question… Why is it, from February 8 until now, no one said a word to me about anything!” Massa said on the air.
The Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives now manages Massa’s former office and staff, while Massa’s chief of staff Joe Racalto remains as an office administrator.
Governor Paterson will now decide if a special election will be held or if the seat will remain unfilled until the November election. A spokesman for the governor said no decision had been made.
Phone calls to Massa and his staff were not returned Monday.