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  Alcee Hastings faces congressional ethics probe
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ContributorThe Sunset Provision 
Last EditedThe Sunset Provision  Jun 22, 2011 10:33am
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News DateWednesday, June 22, 2011 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionFlorida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings faces a House ethics investigation over sexual harassment charges made by a female former member of his staff.

An inquiry by the Office of Congressional Ethics began at least a month ago, Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, the conservative group that recently filed a lawsuit against Hastings on the charges, told POLITICO on Wednesday.

Winsome Packer, a former staffer on the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was chaired by Hastings, alleges that she was the victim of “unwelcome sexual advances” and “unwelcome touching” by the congressman. Packer also claims that she faced retaliation by Hastings and his staff director, Fred Turner, when she tried to report their behavior.

Fitton told POLITICO that Packer has been cooperating with the Office of Congressional Ethics and that the case “seems well along to us.” The office has 90 days to investigate the case before it must issue a recommendation to the House Ethics Committee on whether to conduct its own probe.
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