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. J. Stewart

    Just bad. Why...why would someone in his position do that?

    February 9, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Just goes to show that he's human and made a mistake.

    February 9, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. MuyGuapo

    Oh my goodness. I better not go to the beach without a shirt on. I might have to resign from my job!

    February 9, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. silvertrueone

    Party of family values right what a joke disgraceful enough already.

    February 9, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. David M. McAvoy

    Is anyone really suprised by this?

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Phillip

    Really....what is there to say? I mean, dude....your a US representative. Think, doofus. Not that you are reading this....why am I writing this?.....

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh brother, we all have done this one way or the other, who hasn't gone to those websites and looked at the girls on there and winked or even signed up, or whatever, I'm more worried about the crazy Republican party trying to bring back the dark ages then some guy who got carried away on cragislist.

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Joseph Guilford

    Human nature is a-political.

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

    Was he trying to flex? Why is it always congressman that get caught up in these scandals!! SAD!!!

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

    Just some more dead weight shed from the failboat that is the United States Congress.

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. LeBourreau

    Wow! Yet another example of the GOP's rampant hypocrisy. Hey, vote for us, we are the party of family values!!! Time and again, they get caught with their pants around their ankles (literally). Hey, we are the party of pro-life!!! Except for the fact that when the GOPers are done, the Earth will be so polluted that no one will be able to live here. And let us not forget the GOP warmongering... They wouldn't want to kill a baby, but it is okay to send grown adults to die in illegal wars. But even worse, set aside the hypocritical aspect of yet another philandering GOP politician (if you can), how much of an IDIOT do you have to be to go trolling for affairs on a public forum? I am aghast that the people of NY thought he had the mental fortitude or common sense to represent them. Where are all the good people nowadays? Is there ANYONE who can be trusted to tend the till? PS In case you're wondering, I think the Democrats suck too.

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Scott G

    Good grief people !!! Keep it in your pants when you a public figure..... seriously has nothing in the past taught you anything ?

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    Darn,Those"family value" Republicans are at it AGAIN. and these are the guys folks voted for in Nov.so they could make OUR LAWS? Oh yeah,the Repubs have"zero tolerance"for that behavior~especially if they get caught! Vote these idiots OUT in 2012 !!

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

    Obviously not one of the "righteous", republicans (presuming there even is such a thing).

    February 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. pnut

    and, i should add, so sorry that you had such little regard for your family and constituents – as they will now publicly suffer your actions – WAY TO GO!

    February 9, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Fred Feinstein

    I can't stop laughing after reading this story. This clown is patheric. "Family Values" indeed. Help me!

    February 9, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. Jim

    Let me guess. He is an evangelical Christian too!

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

    Does it shock anyone this guy was caught? Putting stuff on the Internet for strangers to see isn't a good way to keep your cheating heart a secret.

    February 9, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Sparky

    Seriously. What a moron. Forgetting his marriage vows for a moment, forgetting the fact that he was in a powerful position and probably could have picked from dozens of power groupies that would have thrown themselves at him, forgetting for a moment that he's a handsome fella, how could he have NOT KNOWN this was going to come out and result in exactly this situation?

    Let's just call this what it was – stupid behavior. Do we want stupid people (more so than the usual) representing us? If his intellectual horsepower was such that he didn't think he was going to get caught I have to wonder what other poor decisions he might have made?

    Sparky

    February 9, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. Janie Watanabe

    It is so sad to see these guys caught up in this cesspool of quenchless desire. They are most probably otherwise fine men who are too busy to keep the fire going in their existing relatioships. Therefore they are constantly looking for something "new" to gratify their cravings for what is missing in their lives. Too bad. I hope he is able to save his marriage and his family.

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Mobius007

    Those GOPers and their superior morals... Well, it could have been worse – he could have been another GOPer trying to meet guys in airport restroom stalls...

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. Anon

    Yet another example of how lame street media and their gotcha tactics are systematically tearing down the fine congressional ethics of the Republican institution!

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. american man

    I don't understand why We re elect this people so many times even though They still not fulfill one percent of Their promeses?

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. Jim

    Yes........zero-tolerance for very stupid people in our congress.......seriously how STUPID can he BE!!!! Is this the kind of people we have in our government ?? A pretty far cry from the "best and the brightest". Geeez.......

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  25. Mike Dallas

    And look how suggestively he uses his clenched fist.

    Does he have an innie or an outtie?

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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