Attorney Says Ex-Page, Former Congressman Did Meet Privately

Saturday, October 14th 2006, 9:22 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former page who may have received improper Internet messages from then-U.S. Rep. Mark Foley dined with the congressman four years ago and went to his hotel room briefly, his attorney said Friday.

"Nothing untoward happened. It was social chitchat," Stephen Jones [pictured] characterized the meeting between the ex-congressman and his client, Jordan Edmund, on Friday.

Jones said he was mistaken when he earlier said the two hadn't met privately. Efforts by The Associated Press to reach him for comment late Friday were unsuccessful.

The attorney said Foley and Edmund, who was 17 at the time and living in Carlsbad, Calif., never had any physical involvement.

Edmund is among the former teenage male pages who allegedly received sexually explicit Internet messages from Foley. The Florida Republican resigned Sept. 29 after ABC News confronted him about the graphic e-mails.

Foley, 52, has acknowledged that he is gay but said he never had sex with a minor.

The FBI interviewed Edmund for more than two hours Tuesday in Oklahoma City as part of its investigation of Foley. Edmund served as a page from September 2001 to June 2002.

CBS News first reported that Foley and Edmund met at a hotel. Jones told The Oklahoman of a second meeting between the two after Edmund had left the page program.

Foley traveled to Dana Point, Calif., about 30 miles from Carlsbad, on Sept. 20-21, 2002, his financial disclosure statement shows. The trip was paid for by Jackson National Life Insurance Co.

Jones said he is "fairly positive" that is when the congressman and Edmund met at the hotel.

"His mother had set a curfew, and he had to leave and get home for his parents' curfew. That's why it didn't last very long," Jones said.

"Jordan waited for him ... down in the hotel lobby," Jones said. "They walked to some place nearby for a quick meal, an hour. They walked back to the hotel, visited ... for 20 minutes or so."

Foley and Edmund said the second time they saw each other was "in the House cafeteria" for a snack when the former page returned to Washington.

"There was some function going on. ... He stopped by several congressmen's offices and Foley was in," Jones said.

Edmund had been living in Oklahoma City and working on the gubernatorial campaign of U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla. Jones said his client has left Oklahoma and has taken a leave of absence from Istook's campaign.

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement want to question Edmund, Jones said Friday. That interview may take place this month.

Edmund also is expected to appear eventually before the U.S. House Ethics Committee.