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House investigates alleged congressional page sex incident

  • Story Highlights
  • Two pages fired for alleged oral sex in public areas of Capitol Hill dorm
  • Male, female involved as were pages who were "enablers," says lawmaker
  • Two GOP lawmakers quit House Page Board in protest
  • Inspector-general tasked with investigation, recommending "corrective actions"
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The inspector-general of the House of Representatives will investigate recent allegations of sexual misconduct among congressional pages, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the chamber announced.

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The House page program came under scrutiny after the Mark Foley scandal last year.

Two pages -- usually high school juniors who serve Congress as messengers -- have been dismissed for allegedly having oral sex in public areas of their Capitol Hill dormitory.

"It wasn't kissing and hugging -- let me put it that way," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Florida, last week. "It did go beyond that. There were not only a young male and female involved, but there were also observers and other page participants who were, let's say, enablers."

To protest what they called lax oversight, Brown-Waite has resigned from the House Page Board, along with Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. Video Watch more on alleged page misconduct »

Brown-Waite said her resignation was meant "to send a loud and clear message" to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Republican Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio issued a joint statement on the matter Wednesday.

"We expect the inspector-general to gather the facts and recommend the appropriate and necessary corrective actions to be taken by the House," it said.

In 2006, Florida GOP Rep. Mark Foley was forced to resign after his sexually suggestive e-mails to male pages were made public.

The House Ethics Committee later found that some people who knew about Foley's questionable communications chose to "remain willfully ignorant" rather than confront the matter.

Then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, promised an overhaul of the program, which Pelosi pledged to pursue after Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections.

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"Apparently Democrats didn't learn from the Mark Foley incident that pages need better supervision," Brown-Waite said. "Apparently they haven't learned anything."

No members of Congress are involved in the current controversy, and House Clerk Lorraine Miller, who administers the programs, said the students involved were dismissed. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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