This week has seen two members of Congress forced into public over affairs. U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, Mark Foley’s replacement in Florida, has admitted to “multiple affairs” but insisted that (while immoral) they were perfectly legal. At least one was with a former staff member. In the meantime, in Virginia, Rep. Vito Fossella was convicted on Friday of drunk driving in an incident that exposes his affair and out-of-wedlock child.
The DUI proceeding in Alexandria proved pretty interesting. Fossella was arrested after drinking at a White House party that celebrated the victory of the Giants (as a Bears fan, I will once again point out that there is a God).
Fossella lied to officers and said that he was going to visit his wife. The resulting arrest discussed the scandal.
He could face a five-day sentence if the blood-alcohol level is found to be valid.
There remains a question of the alcohol reading. Fosella has challenged the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath-test machine.
The test read a blood-alcohol content level was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit, and under state law, anyone convicted of having a BAC above 0.15 must serve a mandatory five-day jail term. However, Fosella’s counsel have objected to his treatment and the testing method. At one point, Fossella asked to go to the bathroom and that was refused. When he said that they would force him to defecate in the room, the officers told him that he was a “guest” at the police station and not to do that. If you are a “guest” does that mean you are not in custody?
Fossella insists that he was mocked by the officers who yelled at him while taking the test. His counsel also raised the possibility that bad readings can be caused by interference from police radios and Fossella use of a hand sanitizer.
In the meantime, Mahoney will only admit to “multiple” affairs but refuses to give details. Normally, this would be reasonable except for the legal ethical questions raised by his relationship with a staff member.