Eric Massa's Sordid Tale Unravels

RedTracker| The Washington Post reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was notified in October by then-Rep. Eric Massa’s top aide of concerns about the New York Democrat’s behavior.

Joe Racalto, Massa’s chief of staff, was uneasy that Massa, 50, was living with several young unmarried staffers, using sexually explicit language and spending time alone with ‘young gay men with no ostensible work purpose.’

Massa has made the media circuit all week. We watched him on Larry King, who asked Massa if he was gay and Massa refused to answer, saying ‘ask my wife’ and his Navy colleagues.

Massa in the Navy

The Atlantic reports that:

• Massa was notorious for making passes towards subordinates in the Navy, according to Navy chipmate Peter Clarke

• Massa was famous for his unsolicited ‘Massa massages’

• Stuart Borsch, now a history professor at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass, confirms he was groped by Massa in 1990, aboard the USS Jouett.

• Clarke alleges that Massa’s roommate Tom Maxfield was also assaulted. More from The Atlantic. Note CBS News’ Political Hotsheet’ is also carrying the piece from The Atlantic:

Massa’s shipmates didn’t turn him in for fear that he would retaliate. “He was a cocky guy, competent, but he saw himself as a future admiral,” Moss told me. “It doesn’t surprise me he wound up in Congress.” When news of Dickert’s dispute with Massa appeared in the Rochester, New York, Democrat-Chronicle in 2006, several of Massa’s former shipmates considered coming forward. One of them referred to the dispute as “classic Massa” in an email that was forwarded to me. As Moss wrote to Borsch and Maxfield just before the 2006 election, when Massa first ran for Congress, “I think it is ironic that Massa is accusing this guy [Dickert] of the same thing he tried with you guys (and who knows how many others?) and I think it is pathetic that he would drag his own son into the fray in a public forum.” In the end, the former shipmates did not go public with their stories.

However, Massa’s behavior in the Navy was not unknown to some in Washington. Around the time of Massa’s 2006 race, Clarke says he told Christopher Mansour, then chief of staff to Democratic Rep. Dale Kildee of Michigan, and now a senior official in the Interior Department, about Massa’s history. Reached by phone yesterday, Monsour told me, “I just don’t want to comment about this. I’d rather not be in this story at all.” He added, “I’ve never met [Massa] or had direct interaction with him.”