Monday, July 25, 2011

Nancy Pelosi calls for ethics probe in to David Wu sex report

PORTLAND, Ore. � Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has requested an ethics panel inquiry of Rep. David Wu over a woman�s reported accusation that they had an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the Oregon Democrat last year.

Pelosi issued a statement Sunday night calling on the House Ethics Committee to start looking in to the allegations against Wu.

Wu and Pelosi had a phone conversation Saturday but neither politician has disclosed any details.

Despite calls for his resignation, Wu kept publically silent Sunday.

The Oregonian posted a Washington-dated story on its web-site late Sunday in which a senior Democrat official, who wasn�t further identified, confirmed to the paper that Wu said they would not resign but would complete his term and retire in 2012.

The comment was similar to a document in Washington-based Politico, which quoted an unnamed adviser to Wu as saying they wouldn�t run next year but had completed nothing that rises to the level of a resignation.

Wu�s spokesman Erik Dorey declined to comment on the Politico document. They also said they couldn�t reply immediately to Pelosi�s demand a probe, but that Wu might make a statement Monday.

A Democrat who has challenged Wu in next year�s primary, state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, said Wu ought to see Pelosi�s calls for an ethics inquiry as a signal to step down immediately.

"An ethics inquiry would lead to a long drawn-out distraction and prolong the public pain" for the unidentified woman who has accused Wu, Avakian said through his spokesman, Jake Weigler. "For the sake of our community and this young woman and her relatives, as well as his own relatives, David Wu ought to do the right thing and step aside now."

Another Wu challenger in the Democratic primary, state Rep. Brat Witt, said an ethics inquiry is necessary so "we unravel the allegations and decide what the facts are."

Wu�s only response so far has been a brief statement late Friday: "This is serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring undesirable publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her relatives."

Oregon Democrats have been waiting for word on how Wu designs to reply further to the allegation and the resignation calls.

Spokesmen for both Gov. John Kitzhaber and the statewide party organization said Wu hadn�t reached out to top Democrats in Oregon.

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