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. rich

    Who cares. We have government officials that have done worse.

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. allbummedout

    It's bad enough we have to live with corrupt politicians, but I have no use for stupid ones. What? Did he think they wouldn't serve him up on the media with all the other "appetizers" being dished out? Dumb and dumber...

    February 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. AG

    Wow. Meeting women on craigslist? Pathetic!!

    February 9, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Ken, AZ

    This should make him a rising star in the GOP. He stands in good company with the likes of Newt Gingrich, John Ensign, David Vitter, and a long list of other republicans.

    February 9, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. Kong

    lol! What would N.Y. Rep. Chris Lee want to show his strong body to the woman out there?

    February 9, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Solex

    Another public person who resigned ONLY because they were caught. I realize that I am no pillar of the community but the fact is I don't try and represent myself as one as these people DO. What he did may not have been illegal in the truest sense of the word, but immediately identifies him as being dishonest. NOT the kind of person you want representing you in Congress I woudl imagine...

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

    That is a fake photoshop job. Doesn't look real at all. Looks like they just cut out his head and pasted it on some younger guy's body.

    February 9, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. Robert

    note 2 people,
    don't post anything u don't want people seeing
    cause they will c it
    and they will laugh

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

    ok....

    WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! Craiglist! Are you kidding me?! Not even if you WEREN'T a politician should you have done this. This is just a bad idea all around.

    "I'm a married man, and politician... I need to cheat on my wife, I'll put half naked pictures of me on Craiglist" I'm glad he resigned, not because he tried to cheat on his wife, or because he's using Craigslist to meet women, or because he's a politician... but because the combination of all of these things makes him incredibly stupid, so stupid that he definitely shouldn't be in charge of or a representative of anything.

    February 9, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Kong

    N.Y. Rep. Chris Lee is good for one thing geezer male model.

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

    Ehhhh, I say who cares. If the man does his job, and he does it well, I think we should leave his personal life out of it.

    February 9, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. dabble

    WOW...just goes to show those screaming the loudest about morality and all....and all that crap about DOMA....

    February 9, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Gloria

    Has the whole world gone mad?? What is happening to everyone??

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. charles manson

    yeah... yeah... thats hot... thats hot...

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. David

    All I can say is.............LOL

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. kcv

    when will these men learn????

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. The American

    Dude, how can you send a pic including your face??? You would still have your job if you sent from the neck down.

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. ikesiggs

    "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. "

    Right!?! How dumb can you get.

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

    Another in the seemingly never ending line of politicians too dumb to live. Adios schmuck.

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Lis7

    Sounds like he wanted to get caught. Or he's incredibly stupid. Or both. Feel sorry for the family.

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. CC

    What's your next job? Mr. Lee

    February 9, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Lee's CL Girl

    Guess you should have paid me off huh big boy!

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

    Finally, a politician taking responsability for his actions. Way to go! That doesnt happen every day.

    February 9, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. V

    Sounds like he was set up. Dems better be careful. These vicious Repubs are on a mission!

    February 9, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Mara

    This isn't news. And if adultary disqualifies you for your job there would be 30 times the amount of unemployment in this country. When the media and Congress went after Clinton they opened a Pandora's box. There are many many many public officials who did a good even great job but were lousy spouses. If keeping your job depends on a spotless moral record then most of us are in trouble.

    February 9, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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