Saturday, September 30, 2006

Internal Review of Contacts With the Office of the Speaker Regarding the Congressman Mark Foley Matter

To: National Desk

Contact: Ron Bonjean or Lisa C. Miller, 202-225-2800,
both of the Office of Dennis Hastert

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- On Friday,
September 29, the Speaker Dennis Hastert directed his
Chief of Staff and Outside Counsel to conduct an
internal review to determine the facts and
circumstances surrounding contact with the Office of
the Speaker regarding the Congressman Mark Foley
matter. The following is their preliminary report.

Email Exchange Between Congressman Foley and a
Constituent of Congressman Alexander

In the fall of 2005 Tim Kennedy, a staff assistant in
the Speaker's Office, received a telephone call from
Congressman Rodney Alexander's Chief of Staff who
indicated that he had an email exchange between
Congressman Foley and a former House page. He did not
reveal the specific text of the email but expressed
that he and Congressman Alexander were concerned about
it.

Kennedy immediately discussed the matter with his
supervisor, Mike Stokke, Speaker Hastert's Deputy
Chief of Staff. Stokke directed Kennedy to ask Ted Van
Der Meid, the Speaker's in house Counsel, who the
proper person was for Congressman Alexander to report
a problem related to a former page. Ted Van Der Meid
told Kennedy it was the Clerk of the House who should
be notified as the responsible House Officer for the
page program. Later that day Stokke met with
Congressman Alexander's Chief of Staff. Once again the
specific content of the email was not discussed.
Stokke called the Clerk and asked him to come to the
Speaker's Office so that he could put him together
with Congressman Alexander's Chief of Staff. The Clerk
and Congressman Alexander's Chief of Staff then went
to the Clerk's Office to discuss the matter.

The Clerk asked to see the text of the email.
Congressman Alexander's office declined citing the
fact that the family wished to maintain as much
privacy as possible and simply wanted the contact to
stop. The Clerk asked if the email exchange was of a
sexual nature and was assured it was not. Congressman
Alexander's Chief of Staff characterized the email
exchange as over-friendly.

The Clerk then contacted Congressman Shimkus, the
Chairman of the Page Board to request an immediate
meeting. It appears he also notified Van Der Meid that
he had received the complaint and was taking action.
This is entirely consistent with what he would
normally expect to occur as he was the Speaker's
Office liaison with the Clerk's Office.

The Clerk and Congressman Shimkus met and then
immediately met with Foley to discuss the matter. They
asked Foley about the email. Congressman Shimkus and
the Clerk made it clear that to avoid even the
appearance of impropriety and at the request of the
parents, Congressman Foley was to immediately cease
any communication with the young man.

The Clerk recalls that later that day he encountered
Van Der Meid on the House floor and reported to him
that he and Shimkus personally had spoken to Foley and
had taken corrective action.

Mindful of the sensitivity to the parent's wishes to
protect their child's privacy and believing that they
had promptly reported what they knew to the proper
authorities Kennedy, Van Der Meid and Stokke did not
discuss the matter with others in the Speaker's
Office.

Congressman Tom Reynolds in a statement issued today
indicates that many months later, in the spring of
2006, he was approached by Congressman Alexander who
mentioned the Foley issue from the previous fall.
During a meeting with the Speaker he says he noted the
issue which had been raised by Alexander and told the
Speaker that an investigation was conducted by the
Clerk of the House and Shimkus. While the Speaker does
not explicitly recall this conversation, he has no
reason to dispute Congressman Reynold's recollection
that he reported to him on the problem and its
resolution.

Sexually Explicit Instant Message Transcript

No one in the Speaker's Office was made aware of the
sexually explicit text messages which press reports
suggest had been directed to another individual until
they were revealed in the press and on the internet
this week. In fact, no one was ever made aware of any
sexually explicit email or text messages at any time.

http://www.usnewswire.com/

-0-

/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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