Reporting Bernice Corpuz
BOSTON (CBS) – State Rep. Mark Cusack of Braintree was cleared Tuesday of any wrongdoing in what threatened to become a new scandal at the State House.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo launched an investigation last Friday into a report that a security officer caught Cusack engaging in “inappropriate behavior” with another lawmaker’s aide in the House chamber late one night back in April.
When the guard asked him to identify himself, Cusack reportedly gave the officer the name of another freshman Democrat in the House.
DeLeo announced Tuesday afternoon that “no rules, regulations or laws were broken.”
“The review, conducted at my direction by counsel, concluded that they did not violate any law, House Rule or House personnel policy and, most importantly, that there was no inappropriate behavior by either Rep. Cusack or the staffer involved,” the speaker said in a statement.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Bernice Corpuz reports.
“With respect to the unnecessary presence of individuals in the Chamber during non-business hours, Rep. Cusack has apologized to me; and I have accepted that apology,” DeLeo said.
“During interviews with counsel, both Rep. Cusack and the staffer acknowledged being in the Chamber and that they were present for no more than three to four minutes. These accounts are supported by the statement of a third party who observed the Representative and the staffer in the Chamber.”
DeLeo said some people were drinking beer during a “gathering” in his suite at the State House “after the close of business” on April 28, but that no one involved was under the age of 21.
Cusack, a freshman Democrat, is 26.
“While I do not condone the inappropriate use of alcohol in the State House, I expect all members and staff of the House to exercise common sense and act responsibly at all times,” DeLeo said.
Cusack released his first statement on the matter shortly after DeLeo’s statement was issued.
“I am thankful that the Speaker’s office has acted swiftly in confirming that no inappropriate behavior occurred.
I have spoken with everyone involved in this situation and have apologized for any undue attention or aggravation this has caused. I apologize to my family, friends, colleagues and constituents for any appearance of impropriety.
I will continue to work each and everyday to best serve my district and ensure their voice is heard on Beacon Hill.
This issue has been difficult for me and my family and we now consider the matter closed.”