Another political bombshell...

Behind The News
May 8, 2008 1:38:57 PM PDT
Oh how quickly life can unravel. One wrong turn, and it can all derail. One impulsive decision, one ill-conceived action, one dark secret -- and then, presto. Just ask Vito Fossella.

The unraveling started for the New York Republican Congressman on May 1, when he was pulled over in Alexandria, Virginia and charged with driving drunk.

And the unraveling continued, almost daily, since then. It's not over yet -- but his life, at least his public life, came apart at the seams today, when Fossella, a married father of three from Staten Island, acknowledged that he also has a three-year-old daughter with another woman in Washington.

It is not our job to snoop around people's personal lives, unless their behavior affects the public. Fossella's extramarital affair isn't much of public concern, on its face.

But he's staked a conservative stance on these issues: He voted to impeach Pres. Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. And more importantly, he has apparently lived something of a secret life - a family here in New York, and another, closeted family in Washington.

We have had no shortage of news stories so far this year involving the personal travails of politicians. Can Fossella survive this scandal, politically? Like every member of Congress, he's up for re-election in November. We might not have to wait that long to find our answer, however. We'll have the details of the scandal, and the latest, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, and speaking of personal lives ruining public careers, tonight for the first time, the former Chief Judge of New York speaks out about the mental illness he says ruined his professional life.

Sol Wachtler shocked New York in 1992, when he was charged by the FBI with a bizarre intimidation plot against his former lover. He was charged with trying to blackmail his former mistress, Joy Silverman.

Now, after years in prison, and after treatment for his bi-polar disorder, Wachtler is talking about his life, his crimes, and trying to change the way the criminal justice system deals with the mentally ill.

Our investigative reporter Sarah Wallace sits down with the former judge for a remarkably revealing story, tonight at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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