Our favorite political consultant, Bill Fletcher, is in the news. One of his clients, Florida Congressman Tim Mahoney, reportedly agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on Mahoney's staff and was threatening to sue him. As part of the deal, the woman, Patricia Allen, was promised a $50,000-a-year job at Fletcher's agency, ABC News says.
The agreement between the congressman and Allen, reportedly promises her a job for two years at Fletcher Rowley Chao Riddle or another company, beginning January 2009. Fletcher Rowley, a Nashville-based political consulting firm that offers "crisis management and creative strategy," lists Mahoney's 2006 election victory as one of its "success stories," according to its website.
The firm's CEO, Bill Fletcher, strongly denied any knowledge of the settlement or any promise of employment to Allen. "I know nothing of the like," he told ABC News. "There is no such agreement. There is no arrangement."
According to Fletcher, all funds paid to his company by the Mahoney for Congress campaign were properly accounted for. "I've made no payments to any third party," he said.
According to people briefed on the settlement Allen was promised at least $50,000 a year or other employment if the Fletcher Rowley job fell through.
In one of life's little ironies, Mahoney's predecessor was Mark Foley, who resigned in another sex scandal. You recall that Foley was caught sending creepy Internet messages to congressional pages. There have always been suspicions that it was Fletcher who secretly peddled that scandal to the media.
For more, see Braisted
: Statement from Fletcher Rowley: “As of today, FRCR, Inc. has resigned from Tim Mahoney’s campaign and permanently ended our relationship with him. According to ABC News, Tim Mahoney apparently included our company in a secret legal settlement without the knowledge of our firm. Our firm did not agree to any legal settlement. If these allegations are true Tim Mahoney’s actions are unacceptable and not in line with FRCR’s business ethics.”