Conduct Unbecoming

Faced with investigating sexual-harassment charges against one of its own, the Senate ventures into uncharted territory -- and undefined punishment

It was as if Bob Packwood had suddenly become an unperson -- the Senator from Not. During freshman orientation time in Washington last week, 11 newly < elected Senators and 110 fledgling members of the House fumbled their way around Capitol Hill. But as they consulted with senior lawmakers about the bewilderingly complex rules of their august institutions, the office of Oregon's normally gregarious five-term Republican Senator was eerily silent, except for an occasional reporter's unwelcome call.

There was sufficient cause for Packwood's pariah status. His home state's Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence last week informed the Senate ethics committee...

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