Ex-Rep. Foley Expresses Regrets at His Father's Funeral

By Brian Skoloff
Associated Press
Sunday, November 19, 2006

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 18 -- Former congressman Mark Foley sobbed as he delivered a eulogy at his father's grave Saturday, alluding to his resignation from the U.S. House amid a sex scandal as disheartening to his dad.

"I disappointed him so much," said Foley, surrounded by about 50 friends and family. "But he was so good of a man."

Edward Foley, a longtime educator, died Tuesday of complications from cancer. He was 85.

The two had a close relationship, though in the last weeks of Edward Foley's life his son was in a secluded Arizona treatment facility.

Mark Foley checked himself in on Oct. 1 for what his attorneys said was treatment of "alcoholism and other behavioral problems." He returned to Florida to attend a visitation for his father Friday.

Foley resigned from Congress on Sept. 29 after being confronted with sexually explicit electronic messages he sent to male teenagers who had worked as pages on Capitol Hill.

After his father's diagnosis of cancer in 2003, Mark Foley abandoned a bid for the U.S. Senate, saying he needed to be with his family. The decision to bow out of that race also came shortly after an alternative newspaper reported that he is gay. The congressman denounced the story as a rumor spread by his political opponents, but he refused to answer questions about his sexuality.

Soon after Foley entered the Arizona clinic, his attorneys announced that he was gay, that he suffered from alcoholism and that when he was a teenage altar boy he was molested by a priest. A retired priest has admitted having inappropriate encounters with Foley, including skinny-dipping, but he denies having sex with him.

Foley's attorneys have said he never had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor.

Florida authorities have opened a criminal investigation into whether Foley broke any laws related to his communications with the teenagers. Federal authorities are also investigating, and the House ethics committee is looking into whether senior GOP officials hid what they knew about Foley's messages.

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