Page Board Chairman Disputes Foley's Former Chief of Staff's Version

Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the House Page Board, disputes accounts reported by ABC News today that he was approached last spring by Mark Foley's former chief of staff regarding e-mails Foley sent to a page.

Shimkus' spokesperson told ABC News today that the Chairman was first told of the existence of the e-mails last fall by then House Clerk Jeff Trandahl in a conversation that took place on the floor of the House.

In a written statement, Shimkus said he and Trandahl together then confronted Foley who told them, "He was simply acting as a mentor to this former House page and that nothing inappropriate had occurred." 

THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS

Shimkus was shown only two e-mail messages from Foley to the page, one inquiring about his well-being after Hurricane Katrina and another asking for a photo. He says he ordered Foley to cease all contact with the page and to be "especially mindful of his conduct with respect to current and former House pages, and he assured us he would do so."

Shimkus says he was told the parents were satisfied that the contact had ceased and didn't wish the full e-mail contents to be revealed. He thought the matter was resolved until new e-mails surfaced in ABC News' reporting last week.

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