N.Y. Rep. Chris Lee resigns after Craigslist personals scandal
February 9th, 2011
06:02 PM ET
4 years ago

N.Y. Rep. Chris Lee resigns after Craigslist personals scandal

Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Christopher Lee of New York resigned his House seat Wednesday following a report that the married congressman had tried to meet a woman on Craigslist.

"It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York," said a statement by Lee posted on his website. "I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness."

The statement said that "the challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately."

Just before 6 p.m., an announcement read on the House floor said Lee had resigned as of 5 p.m. Wednesday and the number of the House members decreased by one from 435 to 434.

Lee, who is married and has a son, resigned after the website Gawker published an item reporting he corresponded with a woman who posted a Craigslist ad and allegedly sent her a bare-chested photo of himself.

The speed of Lee's resignation indicated a culture of zero tolerance by House Republicans for potentially controversial behavior so soon after winning control of the chamber for the first time since 2007.

Lee was first elected to Congress in 2008 from New York's 26th district in the western part of the state, which includes suburbs of both Buffalo and Rochester. He won re-election last November.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. vizi

    well this is so silly

    am sure others in party would have told him , control your willy or do it in a way we do it

    we are humans , dont know when we will get over this

    dogs are much more freeier

    February 9, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. mud runner

    Why are republicans always getting caught up in sex issues and democrats get nailed on money issues! Just goto DC and do the Peoples business! SUCH A SHAME!

    February 9, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Sapient

    Chris Lee supports "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and voted to reject federal abortion funding. A voting record like that suggests that he has absolutely no problem with judging and discriminating against others for their sexual orientation and sexual activity, yet he cheats on his wife via Craigslist. This hypocritical Greedy Obstructionist Party jackass deserved to be caught.

    February 9, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Richard

    Some more of those Republican Family values......too funny!

    February 9, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Gloria

    I will repeat my comment. Has the whole world gone mad? What is happening to everyone?? How can all of this be happening? Does sex rule the rule the world? Guess I don't understand.

    February 9, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. Paul Duquet

    You would think politicians are elected into office because people entrust them to make smart decisions for the benefit of them & the country. Apparently, common sense doesnt apply.

    February 9, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. steve

    naughty naughty!
    i'm sure he was lonely on the road and just wanted some 'conversation'!

    February 9, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. Jay

    Guys a congressman, has a wife and son, probably has a nice cushy house and car and vacation spot and and and and he throws it ALL away for what?? Some people just simply deserve to work at McDonald's the rest of their life, other's are given dream lives that only most could dream of. Nothing better than finding out about your husband/father doing this on CNN. There's the truly sad part. Perhaps he'll do the honorable samurai thing. Nothing sicker than watching someone piss away their American dream.............

    February 9, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. uche

    Seriously, what was he thinking about?

    February 9, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. TRusting

    THere just going to get someone in office who knows a little bit more about keeping secrets and lying to the rest of the world....cause god forbid if you cant keep something as simple as cheating on your wife a secret (with all the scandels weve kept secret for decades, with all the resources we provide) then you gotta go thats why you had a speedy departure. Cya

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. Mi Poo

    Another "Family values" guy. What is wrong with these people? Don't they realize that the minute they put anything compromising on the interwebs, they're gonna be caught? Jeepers!

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. jl taylor

    The fall of the self righteous has started.

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. John D.

    This behavoir is not acceptable and I am one Conservative Republican who is glad to see him gone. I am sure the left will make a bid todo about but at least Republicans are policing themselves. Dems cannot even think of saying the same!

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. henry

    This is why Republicans should not run for office. They are a bunch of puritans, but behind scenes have the same flaws they criticize of others. Hipocrats!!!

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. zeny kentner

    What a dumb person! He destroyed his future and his family. He doesn't deserve any forgiveness. Why are these politicians when got caught immediately ask for forgiveness. Shame on you!

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Tom Robb

    Has anyone else noticed that the "moral majority" seems to get into alot more sex scandals than the left? Why is that do you think?

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Rob

    I knew as soon as the Republicans took charge that there would be a landslide of scandals. Fasten your seatbelt, here we go.

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Note to GOP on their "protecting marriage" stance: Looks like straight people are doing a fine job of ruining marriage all by themselves.

    February 9, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Wow, what a tool! If you're going to have an affair, do it the old fashioned way....must less risk of public exposure...lol!

    February 9, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. Jack

    And this Is news, why? Because CNN enjoys mocking republicans? What a waste of page space aside from one point: a democrat would not have resigned, they'd have explained it away and rationalized it, and been lauded by the left for their openness and transparencry.

    February 9, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. AtlasSneers

    Ahhh. Good ol' republican values on display again. I wouldn't have such a problem with this if the republicans weren't trying to dictate how everyone but they themselves should live. My sincere condolences to his family, especially his kids.

    February 9, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. Rex

    Dude, what were you thinking???

    February 9, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Grundoon

    And from the family values bunch. . . . .

    February 9, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. Judge

    Really feel bad for his young son. Hope they can patch things up and move on. I'm glad he had the decency to step down and go home to try to recover what is most important. Some people never learn the basics. There but for the grace of God go I.

    February 9, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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