Special Inquiry Needed, Former Ethics Chair Says

The former head of the House Ethics Committee says a special counsel or independent task force may be the most appropriate way to investigate Congress's handling of the Mark Foley scandal. Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO) says the move is needed to help dispel the perception that members of Congress were involved in a cover-up.

As Hefley tells Melissa Block, if it turns out that members of Congress knew of Foley's communications with pages — and didn't act on that knowledge — it could be grounds for expulsion from Congress.

Hefley was removed as chairman of the House Ethics Committee in 2005, after admonishing then-House Majority Leader Tom Delay. Hefley introduced legislation to toughen ethics committee enforcement last spring; he has criticized the lobbying reform bill the House ultimately passed as too weak.

Hefley is retiring this year, after 20 years in Congress.

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