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Alcee Hastings faces Congressional ethics review

A congressional ethics panel is investigating allegations that the Broward Democrat sexually harassed a member of his staff, according to an attorney with a legal group that filed a lawsuit against Hastings.

Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group, Judicial Watch, confirmed a report in the Wall Street Journal that the Office of Congressional Ethics -- the House's independent ethics investigative arm -- is looking at the case.

"My understanding is that they are reviewing the numerous allegations in the lawsuit," Fitton said.

Fitton's group in March filed a lawsuit on behalf of Winsome Packer, a staffer on the Helsinki commission that Hastings led. At the time Fitton said Packer was faced with a "never ending barrage of unwanted sexual advances" and was threatened and intimidated when she tried to report it.

Hastings had sharply rejected the allegations. The Journal says he "didn't directly address the allegations in a recent interview.

"Quite frankly your source has as much or more information than I do and I would suggest you rely upon them," he said. "It would be impossible for me in a paragraph or a page or two or a tome or volumes one and two to help you understand the dynamics of these events. I'll leave it at that."

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