%dheadline(W.Va. governor 'not faithful' to family%)
May. 12, 2003
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ Accused of having an affair with a state employee, Gov. Bob Wise acknowledged Monday that he ``was not faithful'' to his family and asked for forgiveness.
Wise, who has a wife and two children, issued a statement in response to inquiries from the Charleston Daily Mail, which on Monday reported that a man was accusing the governor of having had an affair with his estranged wife.
``Several weeks ago, I had to do the toughest thing I have ever done _ tell my family I had not lived up to their trust, expectation and love,'' the governor said in the statement. ``I was not faithful to my family. I knew it was wrong, and now I must take full responsibility.''
Wise, a Democrat elected in 2000, did not provide further details.
The governor's press secretary, Amy Shuler Goodwin, said the situation will not affect his re-election plans, and added Wise has no intention of resigning.
In his statement, Wise said: ``I believe in accountability. I also hope one day for forgiveness, but I know that forgiveness must be earned.''
Philip Frye, 40, of Hugheston told the Daily Mail that Wise had an affair with his wife, Angela Mascia-Frye. Frye, a musician, also said he hoped to sell the story because of financial strains.
Angela Mascia-Frye, 35, oversees European operations for the West Virginia Development Office. The Daily Mail reported that she had accompanied Wise on a trip to Spain last year.
``I really don't have anything to say and I don't know what you're writing about,'' she told The Associated Press.
State Republican Chairman Kris Warner said the GOP would not shy away from referring to Wise's problems in the 2004 gubernatorial campaign.
``Whether you've been unfaithful to your family or to the people of West Virginia, it will have dire consequences,'' Warner said.
Former Gov. Gaston Caperton, a Democrat who served from 1988 to 1996, and his wife, Dee, filed for divorce during his first term in office. The two had been married for 23 years.
Wise had served in Congress during hearings into President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. In October 1998, Wise said it was important that Congress recognize that Clinton's conduct was wrong ``and take some action of punishment.''