McDade Friends Can't Believe It's True
Shock seems to be the universal reaction to word that former Rep. Joe McDade (R-Pa.), 75, has been charged with "exposure of sexual organs" at a Sanibel Island, Fla., hotel.
McDade's lobbying firm partner, Jim Ervin, president of Ervin Technical Associates, told The Sleuth he simply cannot believe his dear friend and colleague would do such a thing. "I don't believe the charges are true. It is not the kind of thing that Joe would do, and I do not believe it," Ervin said.
The Sanibel Police Department incident report, a copy of which was obtained by The Sleuth, describes a scene on January 18, 2007, by the tiki bar of a hotel, whose name was redacted from the report, in which McDade was seen fondling himself "on the beach and by the pool area of the hotel."
One witness, according to the police report, told police he watched McDade follow his wife from the beach masturbating. Another witness said McDade was watching her on the beach "playing with his penis." The witness said "she thought Mr. McDade was a mental patient because he did not try to hide himself while he was masturbating and he was masturbating in front of everyone at the resort."
The police report stated that McDade was not a registered guest of the hotel on Jan. 18, but that hotel management said he had stayed there earlier in the month, on Jan. 10 and on Jan. 12.
Ervin called the charges "beyond belief." McDade, who is chairman of the board of Ervin's firm, could not be reached for comment today. A source said the former congressman and his wife were en route to California in a car without a working cell phone.
Other friends of McDade had similar reactions of disbelief, including Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a longtime McDade ally and earmarking buddy. Murtha spokeswoman Gabriel Carruth told The Sleuth that Congressman Murtha had not yet spoken to McDade but "stands by his friend."
Carruth said it was her understanding that "the allegations are false."
The client roster of McDade's firm includes Lockheed Martin Corp., Teledyne, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon, among many others. One unnamed client sent an e-mail to the firm today with the message "wow" a a link to the Naples News story about the incident.
Contacted on his cell phone by The Sleuth, Sanibel Police Chief Bill Tomlinson said the case is still open and is "a sex crime in essence." Therefore, he said he would not be releasing any further information.
Friends of McDade who spoke to The Sleuth on the condition of anonymity said that while the former congressman is challenged with physical health problems, including Parkinson's disease, he is lucid and mentally sharp.
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