(WMC-TV) - Congressman Steve Cohen said the ethics complaint against former aide, Randy Wade, was an investigation that should not have been released to the public. Cohen held a news conference Monday afternoon to address the controversy.
"He did something that violated ethics rules. We had a responsibility, my chief of staff contacted the house ethics department. They said, 'You need to report it,' " said Cohen.
He said he is sorry the long friendship he had with his aide Randy Wade has come to this.
"But it started ... after he lost the sheriff's race and he blamed everybody, he blamed me for his losing the sheriff's race even though I put a lot of my heart and soul into trying to help him," said Cohen. "He told me he was resigning from this office in September 2010. I told him to take 24 hours to think about it. He then changed his mind. It hadn't been quite the same since then, but he stayed with us."
The ethics complaint said Wade may have violated House Rules after a 2012 mailer quoted him saying Representative G.A. Hardaway is the "go-to guy" for Congressman Cohen's office.
The House Ethics Committee says officials cannot use their office for non-official purposes. But Cohen was endorsing Representative Mike Kernell against Hardaway in that race.
"The record was clear this was private, confidential. For some reason, Randy Wade wanted it out there that he violated ethics laws. I'm sorry he did that," said Cohen.
Wade, once referred to as Cohen's brother from another mother, retired from Cohen's office in February.