The Washington Times - June 24, 2011, 01:20AM

Congressman Alcee Hastings, Florida Democrat, continues to maintains he is innocent of the ethics allegations against him by a former female staffer who claims she was sexually harassed by the Florida Democrat. According to CBS:


An independent ethics organization is looking into allegations that Rep. Alcee Hastings, sexually harassed a female staff member, according to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which brought the suit against the Florida Democrat.

Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, said that investigators with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), contacted plaintiff Winsome Packer about the case in May.

“They contacted Ms. Packer and she’s fully cooperating,” Fitton told Hotsheet on Wednesday.

Packer, a staffer on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), filed a law suit against Hastings in March, alleging that she received “unwelcome sexual advances, crude sexual comments and unwelcome touching by Mr. Hastings” between 2008 and 2010, while he was co-chairman of the commission. 

The Washington Times spoke with Mr. Hastings (video above) about the investigation on Thursday:

TWT: What’s the latest on this ethics investigation with Miss Packer? 

REP. HASTINGS: The latest has been presented in the news and so far that I can determine, my requirements at this time are to satisfy the United States district court and the lawsuit that’s filed against me, and answer is not due until July the ninth. I have categorically denied all the charges and continued to do so and feel very comfortable that I’ll be vindicated

TWT: Where is this coming from, you think?

HASTINGS: That’s a very good question, and I hope you pursue that.

TWT: It’s kind of strong allegation—hotel rooms, touching and all that sort of stuff. You’ve been around for awhile. You’ve been a judge. 

HASTINGS:Sure. When you say where it comes from, you began by asking me what the latest was and what I’ve been accused of is that  I don’t think a portion of your being here makes any sense to me with something that is supposed to be confidential. So toward the end of where it comes from, the issue  of that is outside my requirements in court.

According to the CBS report, the OCE has 90 days to examine the case before a recommendation is issued to either continue the investigation or not.