Clarksburg Exponent Telegram

TODAY'S
NEWS

LOCAL NEWS
SPORTS
BIRTHS
OBITUARIES
CALENDAR
OPINIONS
COLUMNS
LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR


News Search

AP Wire

AP Money Wire

AP Archive

ADVERTISING
AND CIRCULATION

CLASSIFIED ADS
ADVERTISING RATES
CIRCULATION RATES

GUIDES
NEWSPAPERS
IN EDUCATION

For Students and Teachers
NON-PROFIT

GROUPS
DEPARTMENT
E-MAIL
CONNECTIONS

NEWSROOM
SPORTS
ADVERTISING
CIRCULATION
WEB SITE
BUSINESS OFFICE
OTHER

 

THIS SITE IS
BEST VIEWED
WITH THE
LATEST VERSION OF:
msexplorer
INTERNET EXPLORER

CORRECTIONS
AND ADDITIONS

Copyright
Clarksburg Publishing
Company 2002

Clarksburg
Publishing Company,
P.O. Box 2002,
Clarksburg, WV 26302
USA

CURRENT STORIES


E-mails hint at Wise's brief affair

by Lawrence Messina

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLESTON -- Gov. Bob Wise and a married female state employee exchanged late-night Christmas greetings, shared observations about Italian wine and mused about winter weather in more than 500 e-mails over the past year.

But 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 potential business prospects.

Last week, Wise admitted to being "unfaithful" to his wife and family. Although Mascia-Frye's husband, Phillip, has linked the governor and his wife, Wise has refused to say if he had an affair with her.

Wise spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said Thursday that any affair occurred this year.

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."

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. Travel records show they flew together on the state plane and stayed at the same hotel.

After the trip, the 35-year-old Mascia-Frye telephoned the governor as often as 10 times a day.

The calls drop off after April 7 -- the day her husband filed for divorce in Kanawha County Circuit Court alleging adultery. The governor has said he confessed to his family about the same time.

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. At one point Mascia-Frye told Wise his messages "were starting to freak me out." Wise apologized.

"I'm not freaked out," Mascia-Frye responded. "I simply can't read you sometimes and I ask myself why you say certain things, but I don't have the guts to ask you then."

"Sorry to be ambiguous -- sometimes a trait of mine," the governor replied. "If we ever have a chance to have another glass of Rioja, we can talk about some of this."

Mascia-Frye continued the e-mail conversation by asking the governor if they were "still friends." She apologized for that message the following evening, and Wise responded later that night.

"No need to apologize about anything," Wise wrote. "For some reason, last night's e-mail exchange went bad and never recovered. I'm happy forgetting it."

This personal tone continued after the Detroit trip.

Wise, 55, returned to Charleston on March 4. She stayed until March 6. On that day, Wise e-mailed her several times, thanking her for arranging the trade trip.

In a 10 p.m. e-mail that evening Wise told her, "I will be at the office another hour at least if there is anything else you want to talk about."

It is not apparent if she responded.

In a morning e-mail on March 10, Mascia-Frye told the governor, "The world looks so much better today and believe me it will be OK -- we will make it okay."

Wise's response: "It is a beautiful day -- and you are right. We will. Talk to you later."

The cell phone records also show Mascia-Frye sent Wise text messages, including more than 30 in March. Such messages are not recorded.

In the e-mails, the two referred to these messages as "Good Vibrations," after the Beach Boys song.

Cell phone records for Wise were not available because the governor does not have a state-issued cell phone, said Alex Masia, 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. She had bought the governor a basic language book, and used e-mail to set up lesson sessions.

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!"

The two shared other personal observations via e-mail.

Mascia-Frye mused about being stranded by bad weather at her Hugheston home.

Wise told her about getting ready to watch a NASCAR race on TV, deer jerky and diet Pepsi in hand.

Those e-mails show Wise, Mascia-Frye and other officials trying to lure employers from such places as Argentina, Brazil, Italy and France.

During his e-mail correspondence with Mascia-Frye, Wise often shared his vision of job development, and his efforts to improve the state's fiscal picture.

"I apologize for not getting back in the past two days, but the economic situation has been turning dire," one November e-mail said. "Between the growing shortfalls in the budget and the worsening of the Workers Comp unfunded liability, I have been in a lot of meetings and intense conversations."

Wise, a Democrat, was elected governor in 2000 after serving 18 years in Congress. He and his wife have been married for 19 years and have two children.