Rep. Wayne Hays (D-Ohio) didn't last long after The Post reported that he had given a young woman named Elizabeth Ray a job that involved very little office work but lots of personal services. "I can't type, I can't file, I can't even answer the phone," Ray candidly revealed. After his resignation, Hays was elected to the Ohio State House of Representatives. He died in 1989. Ray went on to an abortive career as a stand-up comedienne. An excerpt from The Post of Sept. 2, 1976:
By Richard A. Lyons
Washington Post Staff Writer
Rep. Wayne L. Hays (D-Ohio) resigned from Congress yesterday, and the House ethics committee dropped its investigation of his role in the sex-payroll allegations that led to his downfall.
Hays, a 28-year House member and once a power through control of members' campaign funds and office allowances, resigned in a letter which his lawyer, Judah Best, and press spokeswoman Carol Clawson handed to House Speaker Carl Albert (D-Okla.) yesterday afternoon. It read:
"I hereby resign my office as representative in the Congress of the United States from the 18th District of Ohio, effective immediately."
His letter was read to the House, which listened without response.
Ohio Gov. James A. Rhodes said Hays telephoned him yesterday morning to say he was sending the governor a letter of resignation.
To resign from the House, a member notifies the governor of his state -- who sets the date for a special election to fill the seat -- and the Speaker of the House. Since Hays' resignation came so close to the Nov. 2 election, Rhodes may schedule the election for the unfinished term the same date as the election for the next two year term.
The ethics committee voted 12 to 1 to drop the investigation it began three months ago into charges by Elizabeth L. Ray that Hays kept her on the public payroll at $14,000 a year solely to be his mistress. ...
After receiving Hays' letter yesterday Albert said he believed Hays had quit "to save his family." Hays has been at his Ohio farm for the last three weeks, but had sent word that he planned to quit because the pressures and publicity were hurting his wife's health. He married a second time shortly before Ray made her charges in a Washington Post article May 23.
Hays had been on an accelerating slide since Ray's charges were reported. He admitted a "personal relationship" with her, but denied her charge that she did no office work.
Under intense pressure from House Democrats who found him becoming a political liability, Hays resigned as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the House Administration Committee. He won re-nomination to a 15th term on June 8, then was hospitalized with an overdose of sleeping pills. Three weeks ago he decided to retire as of next Jan. 3. ...
Hays is entitled to a pension of about $30,000 a year.
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