Rep. Weiner's Staff Victimized by Scandal

Monday, 20 Jun 2011 12:58 PM

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The biggest victims in the Rep. Anthony Weiner sexting soap opera may turn out to be his loyal staff. The staff has received two body blows in the saga: First, they were lied to, and soon, they’re likely to be unemployed.

Weiner, D-N.Y., spent a week lying to staff about Twittering crotch shots of himself to a female college student. The staff marshaled its forces and worked on his behalf to spread the message that the congressman’s account had been hacked, the New York Post reported.

Anthony Weiner, sexting, Twitter, Andrew Cuomo, Boehner
Anthony Weiner
It was only after days of conversations and tough questioning that top advisers came to the conclusion he had indeed sent the photo and was covering it up.

"He was alternately combative, wanting to fight this," one insider describes the unfolding saga to the Post. "He was frequently very distressed by his own actions and how they affected people who were close to him — first and foremost, (his wife) Huma and their families. And then at other times, witty, funny, bantering with people."

The agony is still not over for the staff that remains employed, for now. Until Weiner submits letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the letter is read on the House floor, he is still a member of Congress. Those letters could come as soon as Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.

However, the staff will stay on for the short term. Both the House and Senate have provisions in place for the staff should a member of Congress resign, die, or be expelled from office.

When a member of the House leaves, the staff then answers to the clerk of the House. Instead of working for a person who represents a congressional district, in Weiner’s case New York’s 9th, the staff works directly for the district. The congressman’s name is removed from the door and phones are answered with the name of the district.

The staff stays on to provide constituent services in Washington and the district offices, on such things as dealing with federal agencies or veteran’s benefits. There is no voting power and the staff can stay on until the swearing in of a new member.

The new member has the power to fire or keep any previous employee. In the Senate, staffers only keep their jobs for 60 days as employees of the secretary of the Senate, according to the Post.







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