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. Jubril

    wow, Not really news but surprised he resigned while Senator vitter is still roaming around the halls of the senate. he did what every republican do, so whats the big deal. the guy that was arrested in the bathroom did not resign

    February 9, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. PAUL W!

    Yet another great example of the Family Values characterizing the GOP!

    February 9, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. CaliforniaBC

    Ah yes.....The party of family values strikes out again! LOL!!!

    February 9, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. lisa

    Are we really surprised "the right" is usually the wrong.

    Very tacky he should step down at least be discrete and pay for it like the rest of the party.

    February 9, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Brian

    It seems to be that its always GOPers who get outed like this.

    February 9, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Meggie24

    Sigh. Nothing surprises me anymore. Is anyone left in the world who has integrity?

    February 9, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Sophistrylol

    Wow!

    That's all I can say.

    February 9, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Dave

    Well he's as stupid as Republican voters generally always have been. And the sex-crazed, cheating, hypocritical liar part is vintage Republican politician.

    February 9, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Prof Fonzworth

    Good News Everyone!

    I've invented a private e-dating site so stuff like this does not happen.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Zack Sherman

    This is disgusting. All these men do is talk about how the American values we've held so dear since the 50's are being lost at an alarming rate and they go and do deeds like this. I think it's time that the leaders of this country take a very hard look at the hypocrisy they put forth with actions like these. They preach morals and codes of behavior, but secretly these situations keep occurring. Here's a hint, politicians: If you're going to go against everything you say you stand for, don't take pictures of it and post it on the internet.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Name

    He is an idiot.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. tim

    wow. i need to remember not to totally mess up my life.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. islapura

    Another Hypocripulican bites the dust... So much for the party of family values... Remember the one they caught in the bathroom in the airport? Hypocrites...

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. JennyTX

    I feel sorry for his family.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. JustSomeAmerican

    Man... why is it that when the GOP gets into scandal it's always soooooooo embarrasing?

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. John Q. Public Sr.

    Another Republican Congressional hypocrite bites the dust.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. ProperVillain

    So much for the GOP's much lauded "conservative family values"...

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. whatever

    baaaaaawwwwaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaa

    tea party is the new stupid

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. Missa

    What? Did he not think someone would see his picture/post on Craigslist & recognize him?? I am thoroughly amused.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Terry

    Um, aren't the Republicans the ones who cry "sanctity of marriage"? Yet, why is it that they keep getting caught doing this stuff? Practice what you preach please, especially when denying gays the right to marry based on your (apparently loose) religious views.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. tard

    Wow, the democrats are really gonna be all over this one - he actually looks GOOD with his shirt off.

    February 9, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. yaho

    Let's tune in for Rush tommorow and get an advice from conservatist radio host about this conservatism breaking news....this is what we sent the GOP to Washington to do.

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Krista

    How could anyone in political office be this stupid?

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. George Washington

    What a Maroon.... and who would have guessed a republican also.....

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. hypocrisy

    Another one bites the dust. I love when these family first guys show their true colors. Stop judging the rest of the world and worry about yourself.

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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