Did Mahoney Help Second Alleged Mistress Win Federal Grant?

Allegations of 2nd affair with Florida official who sought congressman's help.

ByABC News
October 15, 2008, 1:33 PM

October 15, 2008— -- Current and former aides for Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL) say he was carrying on an affair with a county official from Florida at the same time he lobbied to help her county receive a $3.4 million federal grant.

One former top campaign aide says Mahoney acknowledged the woman had spent the week at his Washington apartment but shrugged off warnings such behavior could cause him political trouble. The aides said the woman was also seen with Mahoney at restaurants and at his Washington DC apartment late at night.

Based on interviews with a number of staffers, campaign workers and top Democratic officials in Congress, it appears Mahoney ignored warnings since last year about what now appears to have been multiple extra-marital relationships.

ABC News reported Monday that one former Congressional and campaign staff member, Patricia Allen was paid $121,000 by Mahoney to keep her from filing suit and going public about their alleged affair after she had been fired by Mahoney.

Now, it appears that Mahoney helped the Martin County official win a $3.4 million reimbursement for hurricane clean-up from FEMA -- appealing directly to Administrator R. David Paulison while doing little to aid other counties in his district with similar requests, the staffer say.

"Congressman Tim Mahoney was instrumental during the appeal process," reads a Martin County press release in September 2007 announcing the money for the county.

In a statement released by a spokesperson, Mahoney said he was "proud of the work" he has done "getting tens of millions of dollars in hurricane reimbursement funds for the eight counties he represents."

His statement did not address questions about his relationship with the county official. Multiple messages to the woman were not returned.

Don Donaldson, engineering director for Martin County, who was involved in getting the grant, said that he was unaware of any allegations of an affair between Mahoney and the other official.

He acknowledged that Mahoney had helped the county get to the "finish line sooner" but said he believed the county won out ultimately on the merits of its case.

"I didn't feel that we got any special treatment. We felt we were owed this." He added: "To me, the FEMA thing has nothing to do in the end with the Congressman."