Kentucky House speaker Jeff Hoover (R) resigned his leadership position Sunday after admitting that he settled a sexual harassment claims from one of his staffers last month.
The Republican leader initially denied sexually harassing the staff member but said he sent inappropriate text messages. Hoover’s wife and two of his three daughters were in the room as he spoke, according to PBS.
“I engaged in banter that was consensual but make no mistake it was wrong on my part to do that. And for that, I am truly sorry,” Hoover said. “I want to reiterate that at no time, at no time did I engage in unwelcome or unwanted conduct of any kind.”
The resignation comes after Hoover was reported to the FBI by state Representative Wesley Morgan, a member of his own caucus.
“It’s fair to say I am not the favorite legislator of some in this capitol,” Hoover said without mentioning Bevin’s name.
An attorney representing the victim said his client had “legitimate concerns about workplace conduct.”
“Our client was not coerced by anyone to resolve the matter and has been satisfied with the resolution,” Thomas Clay said. “We look forward to moving past this matter,” he added.
On Saturday afternoon, House Republican leaders announced they planned to hire a private law firm to investigate the allegations and would grant them the power to subpoena witnesses. A news release Sunday said the investigation will continue.
According to PBS, received a letter on Oct. 17 from a lawyer whose client made allegations of sexual harassment against Hoover and others. Everyone reached an agreement on Oct. 25.
Hoover has been speaker since January, shortly after Republicans won a majority in the state House for the first time in nearly a century. The victory gave Republicans control of every state legislative chamber in the South.
“I have asked for and received forgiveness from God, my family, my wonderful wife, Karen, and my daughters,” Hoover said in a statement that has become a cliché when ‘family values conservatives’ get caught red-handed in salacious acts.