The firm of Fletcher, Rowley, Chao, Riddle, Inc has been named in a report by ABC chronicling a sexual harassment settlement involving a a sitting congressman.
Congressman Tim Mahoney of Florida, the man who succeeded disgraced Rep. Mark Foley, has allegedly made a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him. The sttlement also reportedly includes promise of alternate employment.
The agreement between the Congressman and Allen, reportedly promises her a job for two years at Fletcher Rowley Chao Riddle or another company, beginning January 2009. Fletcher Rowley, a Nashville-based political consulting firm that offers "crisis management and creative strategy," lists Mahoney's 2006 election victory as one of its "success stories," according to its website.
The firm's CEO, Bill Fletcher, strongly denied any knowledge of the settlement or any promise of employment to Allen. "I know nothing of the like," he told ABC News. "There is no such agreement. There is no arrangement," Fletcher said.
According to Fletcher, all funds paid to his company by the Mahoney for Congress campaign were properly accounted for. "I've made no payments to any third party," he said.
According to people briefed on the settlement Allen was promised at least $50,000 a year or other employment if the Fletcher Rowley job fell through.
Friends of Allen say she was required to sign a back-dated letter of resignation to the campaign chairman, Charles Halloran, describing her departure as "amicable" and "nothing to do with you, the Congressman, the campaign, or any conduct by anyone associated with your congressional office of campaign."
A Mahoney campaign spokesman said, "Patricia Allen resigned of her own accord, in good standing."
The spokesman said there "was no sexual harassment suit filed against Congressman Mahoney."
Allen, reached at her home in Hobe Sound, said she was "unable" to comment publicly.
Her friends say her settlement agreement with Mahoney prohibits her from making "negative comments" about him.
UPDATE: Fletcher severs his relationship with the Congressman.