New Sexual Escapades in Capitol Page Program

By Justin Rood

Dec 7, 2007 12:29pm

A year after the Congressional page program was thrown into turmoil by the Mark Foley scandal, sexual escapades and a shoplifting spree by teenage Capitol aides have ignited new controversy. Click here for Foley’s IM Exchange With Underage Page (Reader Discretion Is Strongly Advised) Two Republican lawmakers have announced they will quit the panel that oversees the page program. The page program brings 15- and 16-year-old students to Washington to study and work as assistants in congressional offices. Reps. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.,  said they were not properly informed about two recent incidents involving the young pages, including ones in which pages allegedly performed oral sex on each other. The Washington Post reported an incident which took place in a page dormitory room, where some pages watched for adults outside while others were in the room spectating. Click Here to Register to Receive Blotter Alerts. Brown-Waite told the Post that the dorm room incident was "not an isolated" one.  According to Congressional Quarterly, another such incident occurred in a dormitory elevator. A male and female page were allegedly dismissed from the program as a result of the reported sexual activity. In a separate incident, two pages were reportedly caught shoplifting from the Pentagon City mall in suburban Virginia. CQ said the same PAGES had been nabbed shoplifting from a store in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, as well. One of the shoplifters was charged with a felony, Brown-Waite and another source told the Post. Both have been dismissed from the program. "You have learned nothing from the lessons of the Mark Foley scandal," Brown-Waite scolded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a letter announcing her resignation. Pelosi oversees House Clerk Lorraine Miller, who operates the page program. Both Brown-Waite and Capito say Miller has failed to alert members in a timely fashion to problems in the page program.  A Brown-Waite staffer told the Hill newspaper the lawmaker believed Miller only informed the page board’s Democratic chairman, Rep. Dale Kildee, D-MIch., of the pages’ misbehavior. Kildee’s office released a statement claiming the problem had been resolved last month. "In our Page Board meeting of November 9, 2007, the Board unanimously agreed that the Clerk. . . should immediately and simultaneously inform all Members in cases where pages were dismissed," he wrote. "Indeed, that was the case in the most recent incident." In a separate statement released Thursday, House Clerk Miller defended new page policies implemented under Pelosi. "We have adopted a zero-tolerance policy when faced with rules violations or conduct that is ethically or legally suspect," Miller said. A spokesman for Miller declined to elaborate on the number of recent sexual incidents involving pages. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

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