published Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Ethics complaint filed against Rep. Scott DesJarlais

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — The Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says it has filed a congressional ethics complaint against Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, accusing the Tennessee lawmaker of “blatantly lying” to the public when confronted about an “inappropriate” affair with a patient.

The Jasper physician was reelected to a second term last month after revelations surfaced that he once urged a patient with whom he had had an affair to seek an abortion.

DesJarlais later acknowledged the affair but insisted in an interview with the Times Free Press and later in an open letter to voters that he knew the woman wasn’t pregnant and there was no abortion. He also said he did not record the telephone conversation with the woman and also denied a later report in the Times Free Press that he had dated another patient and wrote prescription drugs for her.

The congressman was reelected, but a week after the Nov. 6 election, a court transcript from his 2001 divorce trial showed he admitted under oath that he along with his then-wife had recorded the conversation. The unidentified former patient testified she had been pregnant and was “pretty much sure” DesJarlais was the father.

“Apparently, Rep. DesJarlais suffered a convenient memory block until a transcript from his divorce refreshed his recollection after he was reelected,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan in a news release. “Taping a conversation with a mistress doesn’t seem like something you would easily forget.”

In an emailed statement, DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson said CREW's complaint is “is clearly nothing more than a shallow publicity stunt by a Far-Left organization owned by George Soros and used to further his liberal agenda.”

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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