Report: Eric Massa Hit On a Male Bartender at a Marine’s Funeral

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

After doing some exhaustive research, the Washington Post seems to have learned the extent to which former congressman Eric Massa was behaving inappropriately with his male staffers. By the end, it seemed like a good portion of his chief of staff Joe Racalto's job was devoted to reining him in (and according to sources, even he was the subject of Massa's advances). Here's a rundown of the accusations against Massa, which eventually led to a House Ethics Committee complaint and Massa's departure from office:

• From March 2009 onward, male staffers "complained that their boss had touched them in a sexual manner, came up with reasons to have staffers travel alone with him on overnight trips, and expressed a desire to have sex with the men in the office."
• Racalto once had to pull the congressman "out of a Dupont Circle bar in December when he could not get Massa to stop making inappropriate comments to a 21-year-old intern and another male staffer."

• Three male staffers who lived in a townhouse with Massa had to be warned in a staff memo to "be extra careful who you bring home and how you conduct yourself, especially when EM is present" and not to "put EM in a position where he is sleeping and questionable activities are taking place."
• Twice, "Massa sought to take a [male] intern with him along on two West Coast trips."
• And this is the real doozy, which apparently led to Massa's resignation. It occurred at a funeral reception in New York State for a 19-year-old Marine lance corporal who was killed in Afghanistan. "Massa struck up a conversation with a young bartender serving at the informal wake ... Four days later, a local blogger alerted the congressman's office that someone had posted an anonymous comment on his site accusing Massa of soliciting sex from the bartender." To seal Massa's fate, Racalto soon "received a voicemail message from the bartender asking why Massa wanted to meet him in Buffalo, 85 miles away, for dinner. Racalto said he confronted Massa, and the congressman said he was trying to give the man a law school reference."

See, and you thought working for Massa was all fun and tickle fights.

Staffers' accounts paint more detailed, troubling picture of Massa's office [WP]