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David Wu sex allegations: Another Democrat in hot water [Updated]

July 25, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli | Washington Bureau
  • Rep. David Wu, at a December news conference in Washington.
Rep. David Wu, at a December news conference in Washington. (Tim Sloan / AFP/Getty Images )

Top House Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are again calling for the Ethics Committee to investigate one of their own, this time following allegations of sexual misconduct by Oregon Rep. David Wu.

The Oregonian newspaper reported last week that the daughter of a longtime Wu campaign donor called the congressman's office this spring and accused him of "an unwanted sexual encounter." The newspaper said Wu, 56, acknowledged the incident, which occurred over Thanksgiving in Orange County, but said it was consensual.

[Updated, 10:03 a.m., July 25: ABC News reported that the woman graduated from high school in 2010, according to her Facebook page.]

"With deep disappointment and sadness about this situation, I hope that the Ethics Committee will take up this matter," Pelosi said in a statement to reporters late Sunday.

New York Rep. Steve Israel, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called the allegations "serious and disturbing."

Wu has not yet publicly commented on the situation, but a Wu adviser told Politico on Sunday that the lawmaker would not run for reelection in 2012.

The seven-term Democrat was already under scrutiny after reports of erratic behavior last fall, causing his staff to avoid scheduling public appearances for his reelection campaign. One such episode was an email Wu sent to staffers showing him posing in a tiger costume.

The Willamette Week reported in February that Wu's staff urged him to seek psychiatric treatment; many resigned after he won a new term.

In June, Pelosi requested an Ethics Committee investigation of Rep. Anthony Weiner after he admitted to sending lewd photos to several women online. The New York Democrat ultimately stepped down.

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