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Davis Hires Retiring Colleague

Allegations Ended Reelection Bid

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 17, 2004; Page B04

U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) said yesterday that he has offered a job to Rep. Edward L. Schrock (R-Va.), who announced last summer that he would not seek reelection after a Web site said he had solicited gay sex.

Davis said Schrock has accepted his offer to be the top staff person for one of the subcommittees of the Government Reform Committee, which Davis chairs and Schrock has served on. Schrock will supervise a staff and be responsible for developing policy about government regulation, Davis said.

A Web site said Rep. Edward L. Schrock had solicited gay sex.

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"Ed was a great member of this committee. We're just delighted that he accepted my invitation," Davis said. Davis added that Schrock "will take that knowledge base as a member. This allows us to continue a good working relationship."

Davis said he has not yet decided which subcommittee Schrock will oversee once Congress convenes next year. Schrock, whose congressional offices have closed, did not respond to phone calls placed with his former chief of staff yesterday.

Schrock, 63, served two terms in the House, representing Virginia Beach and Norfolk. He is a staunch conservative and a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam. He dropped his bid for a third term Aug. 30 after the allegation surfaced that he had solicited sex with other men.

At the time, Schrock cited unspecified "allegations" that he said called into question his ability to represent his district. He did not comment on the validity of the allegations.

Thelma Drake, who was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, was elected on Nov. 2 to succeed Schrock in Congress.

Michael Rogers, the Web site operator who posed the allegation, said he was motivated by what he called Schrock's hypocrisy. As a member of Congress, Schrock co-sponsored a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and was a frequent critic of President Bill Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military.

In 2000, he told the Virginian-Pilot that gays should not serve. "You're in the showers with them. You're in the bunk room with them. You're in staterooms with them. You just hope no harm would come by folks who are aware of that persuasion. It's a discipline thing."

Davis said he was fully aware of the accusations against Schrock.

"A, I don't care. B, What my employees do in their private lives is not my concern," Davis said. "Professionally, the taxpayers will get their money out of Ed Schrock. We don't have any hiring discrimination on this committee."

This is not the first time Davis has employed a former colleague who had difficulties while in public office.

In 1999, when then-Fairfax County Supervisor Robert B. Dix Jr. (R) failed to win reelection, Davis hired him to work as a staff member on a House subcommittee on the District of Columbia, which Davis chaired.

Dix, who later left the committee to take a job at an Internet start-up, was dogged early in his tenure as a supervisor by accusations that he sexually harassed an aide. Dix gave the woman $8,600 in county severance pay in exchange for her agreement not to pursue the allegations. The payment was later deemed proper, and no criminal charge was brought against Dix.

"Bob, as a subcommittee staffer, was just excellent," Davis said. "Ed Schrock will be similarly outstanding."

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