Politics

Report: Congress Paid Massa Accusers $100,000

Was part of the $17 million paid out in harassment and discrimination claims over 20 years

The Office of Compliance reportedly paid $100,000 to settle claims of sexual harassment against former Rep. Eric Massa. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

The Congressional Office of Compliance paid around $100,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against former Rep. Eric Massa, sources told ABC News.

Massa resigned from Congress in 2010 amid news that he groped, tickled, and sexually harassed male staff members.

The news comes as Congress has faced additional scrutiny for having paid millions in taxpayer dollars to settle claims of harassment and other discrimination claims over the past 20 years.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation this week to require settlements come from members’ pockets.

Watch: Six Lawmakers Have Resigned Due to Sexual Misbehavior in 10 Years

In all, $17 million has been paid out in 264 individual cases, but it isn’t clear how many of those cases were specifically for sexual harassment.

Massa’s attorney James Doyle said the former New York Democrat had no knowledge of the payments.

“The entire process is designed solely to protect the institution of Congress,” according to someone familiar with the case.

At the time of Massa’s resignation, he admitted to making inappropriate contact with his staffers on Fox News.

“Yeah, I did. Not only did I grope him, but I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe,” he said.

But when asked about the records, the Office of Compliance told ABC would neither confirm or deny claims, saying it is required to keep records secret.

The Office of Compliance was established in 1995 in light of the resignation of Sen. Bob Packwood.

The office has also come under criticism as most of the victims have to sign non-disclosure agreements for settlements. 

Rep. Jackie Speier revealed that the Office of Compliance had paid millions to settle claims of sexual harassment.

The California Democrat organized another bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce legislation require anti-sexual harassment training, simplify the reporting process and end the use of non-disclosure agreements.

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