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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How about that cultural republican conservatism? Maybe he can get a job as a government agent when the republicans put an agent in every woman's bedroom to check on their reproductive rights.

    February 9, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. willie floyd

    Another "family values" Rep. bites the dust. No surprise here.

    February 9, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. alleygator

    Bwaaaa haaaaa haaaaaa!!!! Another 'family values' hypocrite bites the dust!

    February 9, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    For the republicans, there are so many women, so little time. Vetter, Ensign, McCain, Guiliani, Gingrich, and Sanford are examples of cultural conservatism. Marriage is between one man, and as many women you can use your elected position to get them into bed. No wonder elected republicans won't give up their government health care.

    February 9, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Patrick from Minnesota

    Hey, at least he had the courage to resign... (I'm looking at you Ensign, Stanford, Craig)

    February 9, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Another sad and disgusting example of the immoral majority in congress?

    February 9, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. MCA

    I bet he really supports family values, being a Republican, LOL.

    February 9, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. Texas Doc

    Today's GOP: Gotta love it. 2012 can't get her fast enough. Ditch these losers. One month in and.......pathetic.

    February 9, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. they call me "tater salad"

    Gotta love the party of "family values"! Just goes to show you that the Republican they let you see in front of the camera is not the same Republican when the cameras are off...........No surprise here!!!........Par for the course, in fact!

    February 9, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Sgt Schultz

    Gotta LOVE those Republican "values". Just ask Sen. Craig, Sen. Vitter, Sen. Ensign, Rep. Mark Foley...who else did I miss?

    February 9, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Mike - Las Vegas

    And once again the "family values" hypocrites show their true faces. Typical Rushpublican liar!

    February 9, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Monster Zero

    Why is it the Republicans resign and the Democrats just lie about it and continue on like nothing ever happened?

    How is that John Edwards grand jury thing going on misappropriation of campaign funds going anyway?

    February 9, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. edog

    Another GOPer who spouts about family values and behind close doors is more dirty than most! Just like NEWT says... do as I say but not as I do regarding his marital issues.

    Who keeps voting for these guys!!! Oh ya, the every educated and enlightened TEA PARTY members...

    February 9, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    He wouldn't want to distract from all the social politics the "small gov't" conservatives will be engaging in this term. They have millions of pregnancies to ensure are taken to full term.

    February 9, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. Smart Human

    Typical hypocritical rethuglican...surprised it wasn't a man he was hitting on!

    February 9, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. David K

    So now we only need to pick up 24 seats to win back the majority in 2012? This is bginning to smell a lot like 2006...

    February 9, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This guy shouldn't resign, the rest of the scumbags haven't, look at Vitter, Republicans went as far as to re-elect him. Boehner shouldn't accept his resignation unless there is more than we need to know to this whole story.

    February 9, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. Me

    Trying to meet women on Craigslist? Were all the bars closed in his district? Don't try to govern what happens in my bedroom when you're visiting several bedrooms yourself.

    February 9, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  19. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    There needs to be a web site called "The Congressional Hall of Shame" to post the pictures and sleazy details of politicians gone bad for all to see. And when a politician gets caught in things like this or other indiscretions they get added to the list. Regardless of political party or accomplishments. For many people the threat of public shame should be a motivating factor behave properly.

    February 9, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. Joy

    I am not surprise! What do you expect? The Party of hypocrite. One less Republican to worry about! One down, 24 to go, and the Dems will take over the house again! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    I'd be LMAO right now if it were not so shockingly stupid after all that has happened. I mean look at the creeps who have had been caught: Bill Clinton, John Edwards, John Ensign, David Vitter, Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, Mark Sanford and the list goes on and on, regardless of position or party. This is stupid, stupid, stupid.

    February 9, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. marc in california

    well that sure did not take long tor the GOP to shhot themselves in the foot

    February 9, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. Video Guy

    Family Values at it best.

    February 9, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. Chris from NY

    I thought the Republicans were all saints. I didn't think they could do that kind of thing. I guess I was wrong.

    February 9, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. TamarS

    and he was such a good republican too – all smoke and mirrors deceitful.

    February 9, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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