Tim Mahoney's wife files for divorce

Published: Oct. 20, 2008 at 9:12 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2008 at 9:19 PM EDT
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Posted by Rachel Leigh email

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Terry Ellen Mahoney, the wife of U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, filed for divorce Monday in the North County Courthouse.

Mahoney, a Democrat from Palm Beach Gardens facing re-election, admitted on Friday to having "numerous" affairs, including one with a former staff member, Patricia Allen of Hobe Sound, and an unnamed Martin County employee.

The Post said the divorce papers and request for a non-jury trial were filed by Stuart attorney Karen Steger and the case was assigned to Judge Richard L. Oftedal.

Mahoney said in an interview Friday with Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers said, "I owe my wife and daughter an apology, and I owe all my constituents... What I did is I failed them, I let them down, period. There is no excuse."

Mahoney's congressional office had no comment for the Post on Monday.

Mahoney said Friday he won't withdraw from his re-election bid or resign.

"It's really not a viable option," he said.

Mahoney met Allen during his 2006 campaign, and she was hired to the congressional staff after the affair began. She was fired by him in January after the affair ended.

Mahoney said he paid Allen $121,000 out of his own pocket to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit Allen threatened.

Mahoney said he met the Martin County official, described only as a Palm City woman, on a trip to Washington, D.C., when the county was seeking federal aid to cover hurricane debris removal from within gated communities.

The relationship ended earlier this year as rumors started to appear on the Internet, he said.

"I've admitted there have been numerous affairs," Mahoney said. "It's certainly more than two; numerous."

The FBI is investigating whether Mahoney broke any laws or misused federal money when he hired his alleged mistress to work in his congressional office.

Federal agents also are examining whether the affair Mahoney is alleged to have had with the Martin County official was the reason behind his decision to push for federal emergency funds for the county.

The Washington-based congressional newspaper The Hill reported Friday that the House Ethics Committee, which Mahoney has said he will ask for an investigation, is "reviewing" the matter and will interview Mahoney and others allegedly involved. No timeline was given.

Mahoney said he never did anything illegal in settling the threatened lawsuit or in helping Martin County get its FEMA grant.