In October, former Congressman Eric Massa wrote a memo to his staff apologizing for “chronic use of inappropriate language and pledging to hold himself to a higher standard,” his chief of staff tells the Elmira Star-Gazette.
Massa, a Democrat from New York, sent the memo after Chief of Staff Joe Racalto told Massa he “needed to keep himself, you know, to less colorful language,” Racalto told the Star-Gazette.
After allegations of sexual harassment were first reported last week, Massa dismissed the charges and framed the issue as one about his use of “salty language.”
“Do I or have I ever used salty language especially when I’m angry, in the privacy of my inner office or at home? Yes I have and I’ve apologized where it’s appropriate,” Massa said March 3.
On his radio show Sunday, Massa for the first time revealed an incident that he says led to the harassment allegation, in which he tousled the hair of a male aide at a wedding party and said, “what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.”
However, it’s still not clear whether the wedding incident is what led to the allegations that were being investigated by the ethics committee until Massa resigned yesterday.