GOP Staff Warned Pages About Foley in 2001

ByABC News
October 1, 2006, 3:45 PM

Oct. 1, 2006 — -- A Republican staff member warned Congressional pages five years ago to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.

Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned about Foley by a supervisor.

Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said the pages were told "don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff."

Staff members at the House clerk's office did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Some of the sexually explicit instant messages that led to Foley's abrupt resignation Friday were sent to pages in Loraditch's class.

Pages report to either Republican or Democratic supervisors, depending on the political party of the member of Congress who nominated them for the page program.

Several pages for members of Congress tell ABC News they received no such warnings about Foley, R-Fla.

Loraditch says the some of pages who "interacted" with Foley were hesitant to report his behavior because "members of Congress, they've got the power." Many of the pages were hoping for careers in politics and feared Foley might seek retribution.

Loraditch runs the alumni association for the US House Page Program and he is deeply concerned about the future effects this scandal could have on a program that he sees as a valuable educational experience for teens.