Excerpts from Congressman John Tierney's interview with The Salem News:
Did you ever talk to Patrice about her brother and exactly what she was doing for him?
"I knew, or at least I thought I knew, what she was doing. He had an account and she was paying bills that he asked her to pay out of it for (his) kids. He had three teenage kids living in Lynnfield. I think some of the money, from time to time, might have gone to help (Patrice's) mother out."
Did Patrice ask her brother what she should put down on the tax form?
"I don't know how that went. That's her case. I can't answer that. I certainly wasn't involved with it."
Did Patrice ever ask if you were all right with her doing this for her brother?
"I don't know that we had an explicit conversation. But we were both very aware that he was not gambling anymore, that he was doing something else. That was certainly something that she considered, I'm sure. She's not stupid. She knows what I do for a living. "
In retrospect, do you wish that you had looked into the matter more?
"What I wish is that my brother-in-law had said to his sister, 'Hey, 'I'm lying, you don't want to be doing this. That's what I wish."
Was your wife ever paid to run the account?
"I think pretty clearly that there was no allegation that she profited from it."
What do you want to say to your constituents about this?
"I want them to know that this is a tremendously unfortunate situation. Obviously, we're stunned and upset and concerned. And I'm concerned for my wife. This has been devastating for her, physically and emotionally. It's just not easy. People make mistakes. She happened to marry a guy who wasn't perfect. I kept trying to convince her I was."
On the feedback he has received:
"We're getting a tremendous amount of comments from people that are very understanding and very supportive, mostly women, coming up to us and saying, 'My husband damn well better not start looking at everything I do.'"