Rep. Wu speaks out about staff exodus, drug allegations

Rep. Wu speaks out about staff exodus, drug allegations


by Laural Porter, KGW Staff

Posted on February 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 28 at 6:37 PM

PORTLAND -- In his first local interview since allegations of drug use and mental health concerns surfaced, David Wu spoke with KGW Saturday.

Wu has recently faced pressure to resign from Republican lawmakers and local media outlets.

Background: Pressure mounts on Wu to resign

In an exclusive interview with KGW's Straight Talk, Congressman Wu told KGW’s Laural Porter he will not resign, and there were no circumstances under which he could imagine resigning. He said he would work toward being re-elected. He felt sure he could continue to effectively serve the first Congressional district.

Wu also admitted to sending emails from his Congressionally-issued Blackberry to his staff, pretending to be his child. He said he’d had a couple sips of wine and was kidding around a the time, but realized later it was unprofessional and shouldn’t have done it.

Report: Rep. Wu urged to get psychiatric help

Wu added that it was bad professional judgment to send a picture of himself dressed in a Halloween Tiger costume to his staff. That picture has appeared in several newspapers and blogs.

Congressman Wu said he stopped drinking last summer as part of a weight loss regimen, and said he does not have a drinking problem.

He added that he didn’t know whether the painkillers he took from a campaign donor without a prescription were Oxycodone. He doesn’t know what they were. He admitted that taking a prescription drug without a prescription is illegal but didn’t at the time know what he was taking. He said he has realized he shouldn’t have done that and that it was foolish.

More: Exodus of top staff hits Rep. David Wu

When asked whether he thought he should have come forward before the 2010 election to address the concerns of his staff, Wu said, "I do not."

"I think that I have worked through a very difficult time, raising my kids on my own, taking care of my mom," he said. He called it "a rough patch during an election," but he said he is in a "good place now."

"I can take care of my family, take care of myself and work very, very hard for the people of Oregon," Wu added.

He said there would be no more forthcoming revelations that would damage his credibility or keep him from performing his duties as a representative. He said he’s ready to take on the business before him in Congress as a possible government shutdown looms on March 4th.

Related: President calls for temporary spending plan to avoid shutdown

He was sure he'd be able to make the tough votes he needs to represent and serve the people of the first district.

The entire interview was scheduled to air Saturday at 6:30 p.m.