Thirty-two House Democrats said yesterday they want a formal committee investigation into allegations against Pennsylvania Democrats Reps. Daniel J. Flood and Joshua Eilberg.
They said a formal investigation is imperative to give the two congressmen due process and to show that Congress "has the will and the desire to properly police the behavior of its members."
They asked the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to investigate whether Flood misused his position as a congressman in connection with business interests in Haiti and the Bahamas. The congressmen asked the panel to look into allegations against both Flood and Eilberg in connection with federal financing for the Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia.
The request was contained in a letter to the panel. The letter was circulated by Rep. Andrew Maguire of New Jersey and signed by 31 other junior House Democrats.
The committee has announced it is conducting a preliminary inquiry on allegations agaisnt the two congressmen, indicating it is gathering information for a decision on whether to conduct a formal investigation.
House Republican leaders urged the committee earlier to expedite the preliminary inquiry and to conduct a formal investigation.
The Democrats stressed that they are not passing judgment on Flood and Eilberg.
"We feel very strongly that each should be considered innocent unless proven guilyt," they said in the letter. "However, if there has been any improper conduct on either of their patrs, we believe that it is important that your committee and the House take prompt corrective action."