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

    At least he's in shape.

    February 9, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. CSUNikki

    What the hell is going on with the Republican Party!?!?!! I am embarrassed that I am a registered Republican. That party has screwed up our economy and dragged our country’s name through the muck. I feel sorry for this jerk’s wife and I hope she leaves him! Plus she needs to get an AIDS test as well as a full STD panel test since this dude has been creeping out on her. Ughh…

    February 9, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Tom

    I find this impossible to believe if only for the fact that someone who rises to this type of prominent career could never be this stupid. If this is indeed true, I need to reevaluate my beliefs in the decision makers of this country. We are done as a society.

    February 9, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. Mad in MA

    LOL... oh my ... really? Yep way to lead GOP.. family values eh??

    February 9, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Maty

    How long has the internet been around, and people still think no one's going to know?

    February 9, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Elliot

    Why would he resign? He's looking good! Probably attracted a few potential voters.

    February 9, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Garrapata Red

    Not only are GOP Senators and Congressmen a bunch of hypocrites and pervs....they're just so STUPID! Craigslist...really? When did it cross your mind that exposing your lameness in this venue was the epitome of discretion?? What a tool...

    February 9, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. lct1119

    What a surprise...a republican engaging in inappropriate activity.....

    February 9, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. K Mac Attack

    Another one for the party of good christian family values!!

    February 9, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Kenneth

    Typical self-righteous Republican, who stands for family values, why people vote for republicans is just beyond me. lol

    February 9, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  11. Seattle

    Well that was a very dumb dumb move. What about the WORLD WIDE WEB and posting things on it for people to SEE do you and the former captain of the USS Enterprise not understand??? Really? How could you NOT think that you would get caught?? LOL

    February 9, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. gop hate america

    it always seems to be the family values crowd

    February 9, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. american me

    As shown by Craig, Vitter, Sanford, Ensign, Foley, Gingrich, etc., the hypocritical, "family values" RepubliCONS think they are above the law. Those cretins will do and say absolutely ANYTHING to seize and remain in power. If their repulsive idea of family values consists of infidelity, adultery, child molestation, corruption, hatred, intolerance, bigotry, and debased ethics, I'm sure glad I'm not part of their gross little family.

    February 9, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. Rob

    Why did John King headline this as a "sex scandal" when the reported facts said he took a picture of himself shirtless? Unless King never had sex, I think he would know there is a big difference.

    February 9, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. sara

    Well I guess he disgraced himself and his family. Glad he did the right thing and resigned, If he will cheat on his own family, what will he do to New Yorkers (western), that he doesn't even know. Shame on you

    February 9, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. Marmar

    Big deal, dude works out. No need to resign, in fact, other political figures should follow his lead and work to improve health and wellness.

    February 9, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. DK Texas

    More of the "family values" they claim to espouse?

    February 9, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. JayPee

    Chris Lewd thought he was Bruce Lee or something. I think he just wanted to get caught, even if just unconsciously (it would eventually happen to anyone "famous" showing their face on Craigslist), He was probably tired of being a congressman and is up to start a new reality show on TV like Lee & Spitzer on Animal Planet, or write a novel titled "It Takes Some Muscle to Be a Politician".

    February 9, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. pnut

    just mildly curious – what public figure (or member of society well versed in media and technology, as this representative certainly should have been) , in this day and age, is so unaware of the ramifications of the internet? as a new yorker – i am less concerned about who will take his place and more concerned about how such an individual made it to public office in the first place. i am terribly sorry for his family that such an episode has been made public – i do believe that personal and professional should be kept apart in public debate – unless of course you are so brazen to post your personal pursuits on the internet – at which point – best of luck to you...

    February 9, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. William

    What a great story..so freaking funny, dude, craigslists!!seriously!! well at least he wasnt sending images of body parts to unsuspecting women!!

    February 9, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    LOL on this dude! Way to show those family values!

    February 9, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. azmary

    I hope he did not run on the Republican family values platform.

    February 9, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. Nick , California

    Here we go wasting the taxpayers time and effort when our economy needs our full attention and he's got the time to go trolling for women on the internet! WHAT ABOUT JOBS GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have time to repeal health care and redefine rape and obviously aren't looking for solutions other than satisfying your trousers and ego!!! THIS IS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR TEA PARTY!!??? Yeah jobs are #1 priority my A$$!!

    February 9, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. ButtTown

    Wow, a Republican getting busted for wanting to have anonymous sex with a woman. Didn't expect that.

    February 9, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. Jeff Texarkana Tx

    Really. Can these people not have a personal life. It's amazing what some people will do to get attention.

    February 9, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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