Rep. Hastings Facing Congressional Ethics Review

June 22, 2011 - 3:14 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A conservative legal group says the congressional ethics office is looking into allegations that Florida congressman Alcee Hastings sexually harassed a female former aide.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which is representing former Hastings staffer Winsome Packer, said Wednesday that Packer has met with investigators from the Office of Congressional Ethics on her sexual harassment claim. The office has no disciplinary powers, and it can only recommend further investigation by the House ethics committee. The ethics office had no comment.

Tonya Robinson, Hastings' attorney, said Hastings denies Packer's charges "in the strongest terms."

In March, Packer filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington claiming the Florida Democrat repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances and threatened her position when she refused him.