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N.Y. congressman quits paying wife from campaign account

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This story was originally published by , which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.

During the three years since Rep. Eric Massa resigned his congressional seat after male staffers accused him of sexual harassment, the Upstate New York Democrat has paid his wife -- and campaign treasurer -- a monthly salary from his dormant re-election account. 

Apparently, no longer.

Beverly Massa received no money from the Massa for Congress campaign committee between Jan. 1 and March 31, according to its latest Federal Election Commission disclosure report, filed Monday evening.

It's an abrupt change: Since Eric Massa quit Congress in March 2010, Beverly Massa consistently earned up to $2,404 per month to keep the books for a candidate committee with no active candidate, disclosure documents indicate.

Beverly Massa's monthly salary dropped to $1,694 per month in December 2010, then $1,292 in October 2011, before creeping back up to $1,294 in January 2012. In July 2012, it fell again to $692 per month.

For most cases, Beverly Massa's salary payments were earmarked for work performed during Eric Massa's 2010 primary, although a January 2012 payment of $1,294 went toward a "2012 primary" in which Eric Massa never ran.

In all, the Massa for Congress committee has paid Beverly Massa nearly $79,000 since its namesake candidate ceased to be a candidate, including a lump payment of $27,000 on April 1, 2010, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of federal disclosures.

Such payments are highly unusual for a defunct congressional committee, which usually require minimal accounting attention. Many simply terminate themselves upon clearing any outstanding debt, donating surplus funds to other political committees or charitable organizations.

Phone messages left for both Beverly and Eric Massa were not immediately returned. 

The Massa for Congress committee still had $61,520 remaining in its account as of March 31.

During the year's first quarter, Massa for Congress spent just $809, all on payroll taxes and service fees to payroll management company Paychex.

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