Gov. Exchanged 500 Emails With Worker
May. 22, 2003
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ Gov. Bob Wise and a married state employee exchanged more than 500 e-mails over the past year in which they mostly talked business but also chatted about the Italian language, wine and the weather.
The bulk of the e-mails released Thursday by Wise's office in response to The Associated Press' Freedom of Information Act request reflect efforts by the governor and Angela Mascia-Frye to attract foreign investment to West Virginia.
The Swiss-born Mascia-Frye is the state's Europe project manager.
The governor's office blacked out numerous sections of the e-mails, saying the information was confidential or involved business prospects.
Last week, Wise admitted to being ``unfaithful'' to his wife and family. He has refused to say if he had an affair with Mascia-Frye, but her husband alleged adultery in a divorce filing and said his wife had an affair with the governor.
Wise's wife, Sandy, released a statement Thursday saying she is ``very angry'' at him, but the couple was ``united in our determination to make our family whole again.''
Wise, a Democrat, was elected governor in 2000 after serving 18 years in Congress. The Wises have been married 19 years and have two children.
A review of Mascia-Frye's cell phone records show she made few calls to Wise until after they attended a Detroit auto show in March. After the trip, Mascia-Frye phoned the governor as often as 10 times a day.
The calls drop off after her husband filed for divorce April 7.
Friendly chitchat started creeping into the e-mails in December. A lengthy back-and-forth that lasted for much of January included late-night banter about the respective hunting attire worn by men and women.
``If we ever have a chance to have another glass of Rioja, we can talk about some of this,'' the governor said in one message.
Cell phone records for Wise were not available because the governor does not have a state-issued cell phone, said Alex Macia, Wise's general counsel, in a letter responding to the AP's FOIA request.
Born to Italian parents, Mascia-Frye had started teaching Italian to Wise, the e-mails show. On March 19, she e-mailed him, in Italian, ``I am very content with how things are going.''
He replied: ``I don't know enough Italian yet to know what you just wrote, but I like the accent!''
Other e-mails show Wise, Mascia-Frye and other officials trying to lure employers from such places as Argentina, Brazil, Italy and France.