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. sooooo

    another one bites the dust!

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. David - Vancouver, Wa

    Typical Republican­...how's that for family values...

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. robert frost

    GOP cheats and lies? How's that news? Bible says, as an adulterer, he should be executed by stoning. Oh wait, does it apply only to women?

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. Dirk Diggler

    Wow! You would think somebody at his level would have more common sense than that..

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. nick

    Lmao, yeah - this is embarrassing...but why, in the heck, should that affect his job as a representative. Seriously jacked up - separate private from public lives people, our politicians aren't perfect, and yeah - sometimes they are in bad marriages,etc. It's none of our business America!!

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. JC

    Ok, this has got to be some sort of joke. Nobody is this stupid, not even a Republican Congressman.

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Sandra M.

    Apparently Mr. Lee presumed his Craigslist shenanigans would not come to light. Another instance of ignorance wrapped up in delusion. I find that most politicians are like 2 year olds....they need constant supervision from a responsible adult. The entire election process needs to be overhauled, it's broken. Many of those who have been given the privilige of being elected to congress, the senate and even to the White House, are not capable in their position(s). Mr. Lee is, sadly, just another example. Good riddance.

    February 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. phil

    What a sleeze bag, and gays can not marry??? Can you believe his picture, sucking in his stomach trying to look hot.

    February 9, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. Toni

    I'm appalled........he resigned over this? Have we all forgotten exactly what Bill Clinton did IN the Oval Office? Had Chris Lee been a Democrat, they would be slapping him on the back for proving himself to be a good ole' boy.

    February 9, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. JB

    What an idiot. When will politicians learn they aren't going to get away with things in today's world the way they could have just a fews years ago? Idiots.

    February 9, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. Juan

    What a loser!

    February 9, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Another family value man !

    February 9, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. Simon

    And the vultures continue to circle around the road kill that is the republican party.

    February 9, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. HistoryHistory

    I will never ever understand why politicians look for greener pastures while they're in office and trying to govern. I can only assume that the huge ego that enabled them to run for office in the first place becomes unstoppable, and misdirected.

    February 9, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Joe The Politician

    There are many more politicians doing this and worse, just a matter of time before they get caught... mm bye bye now

    February 9, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. daggash

    WHAT WAS HE THINKING????????????!!!!!!!! VIRAL??? Hello??? Its called STEALTH MODE lololol. Literary blew his carrier and marriage with one upload click probably for a woman he never met. What a loser.

    February 9, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Mimi

    dude, that is ridiculous, at of all the places to meet people he chose craigslist?????? do you know we can see you???

    February 9, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. Nick , California

    Ohhhh!! Do you smell that!!!!!! oh yeah.. its hypocrisy!!! Thanks for laugh GOP!

    February 9, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. Golyadkin

    Given that he's a republican, I'm frankly surprised it was women he was trying to hook up with. Usually GOP congressmen are found going after men. I'm not, however, surprised a republican was caught up in a scandal involving infidelity.

    February 9, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Samuel

    OMG, He is not wearing an American flag pendent, but that’s no reason to quit his job.

    February 9, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Final Ninjia

    Meh, what an idiot.

    How did he expect people not to notice when he was searching for chicks on craiglist?
    How do these fools get elected?

    February 9, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. j

    ah, another meltdown from the "family values" party. seeing a politician screw up this badly is always entertaining, but more so from republicans because of their 'holier than thou' moral back-patting.

    February 9, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. terre haute

    everyone needs love. viva la GOP.

    February 9, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. Greg

    You know what they call people like that? A Conservative.

    February 9, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. Carl

    These are the people we voted in to bring honor and change to Washington. It is going to be a very exciting months leading up to the election.

    February 9, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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