Washington, Oct.14 : A House of Representatives member from Florida is being probed for an extra-marital affair on the orders of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Representative Tim Mahoney is under investigation for reportedly paying 121,000 dollars to a former mistress who worked on his staff. The former mistress has also sued him after he threatened her job when she tried to end the relationship.
Mahoney, a Democrat, has also favoured a probe into his own activities.
"I just learned today about the serious allegations concerning Congressman Tim Mahoney. These charges must be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the House Ethics Committee," Fox News quoted Pelosi as saying in a statement.
According to ABC News, Mahoney, who is married, started an affair with Patricia Allen while campaigning against Foley on a morality platform. Allen came on to his staff after he won the election in 2006, but when complaints about the alleged affair surfaced, Mahoney moved Allen to the campaign staff, aides told the broadcast network.
ABC reported Allen tried to break off the affair after learning Mahoney was supposedly cheating on her and his wife with other women. In response, he threatened her job, ABC reported.
"You work at my pleasure," Mahoney told Allen in a taped January 20, 2008, telephone call played for Mahoney staffers, ABC reported.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel spoke to Mahoney in early 2007 about his personal conduct, FOX News confirmed Monday.
Emanuel formerly headed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the panel charged with electing Democrats to Congress.
Sources told FOX News that Emanuel did not know the woman was a staff aide or that payments were being offered to her until informed by ABC News.
"Upon hearing a rumor, Congressman Emanuel confronted Congressman Mahoney, told him he was in public life and had a responsibility to act accordingly and appropriately, and urged him to do so.
They had no further conversations on this topic," an aide to Emanuel said in a statement.
Asked about the affair, Pelosi earlier said she didn't know anything about the financial settlement.
"This is completely news to me," Pelosi said when pressed on whether the Democratic leadership kept quiet about the affair so as not to hurt his re-election chances.
Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the DCCC this year, declined to answer a question about Mahoney.