Former Republican House Speaker Dennis
Hastert reportedly paid $1.7 million to a former male student to
conceal sexual misconduct.
On Thursday, the federal government
indicted Hastert on charges of lying to the FBI about the reasons he
withdrew the money. The indictment described misconduct against
Los Angeles Times on Friday quoted a federal law enforcement
official as saying that the misconduct was “sex” and that Hastert
had paid $1.7 million over the last four years to buy the man's
silence. Hastert worked as a high school teacher and wrestling coach
in Yorkville, Illinois until 1981.
According to the indictment, Hastert
had agreed to pay the man a total of $3.5 million.
During his tenure in Congress, Hastert
reliably voted against gay rights, including a vote in favor of the
Marriage Protection Act (MPA), a bill which sought to prohibit
federal courts from hearing cases challenging the Defense of Marriage
Act (DOMA) or the MPA itself, and a constitutional amendment which
would exclude gay couples from marriage. He also voted against the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which sought to prohibit
workplace discrimination “on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Ironically, Hastert, 73, was forced to
resign his post in 2007 over allegations that he had failed to report
inappropriate relations between former Florida Rep. Mark Foley and
male Congressional pages.
Hastert rose to become House speaker
after Rep. Bob Livingston of Louisiana, the presumed successor to
former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, suddenly left Congress amid a sex
In the wake of the allegations, Hastert
has resigned from several boards.