The rift between U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen and Randy Wade, the congressman's former district director, had been relatively quiet until it was reported in a story last week in The New Tri-State Defender that the congressman had filed an ethics complaint against Wade for using his congressional title to endorse a Tennessee state representative in his re-election bid.
The congressman did not file an ethics complaint, said Marilyn Dillihay, the congressman's chief of staff. In fact, Dillihay wants to set the record straight that she communicated with the House Committee on Ethics when she learned of Wade's endorsement of State Rep. G. A. Hardaway.
"I'm responsible for the ethics of this office," said Dillihay, noting that she drafted a letter to the ethics committee regarding a possible ethics violation on Wade's part and that the congressman only affixed his signature to it.
"If Steve didn't report on what Randy was doing, it would have been an ethics violation against the congressman. He has to report on activities in his office. So it had to be reported."