BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - "Craigslist Congressman" Christopher Lee made tabloid headlines for allegedly sending a woman a racy picture through Craigslist and claiming to be divorced, and he has now resigned from his position, effective immediately.
Gawker.com reported Wednesday Rep. Lee responded to a personal ad placed in the "Women Seeking Men" section of Craigslist. The poster had placed an ad on January 14th saying, "Will someone prove to me not all CL men look like toads?" She invited "financially & emotionally secure" to respond, and Lee allegedly did.
The poster, who was not identified, said a man calling himself Chris Lee responded that afternoon, saying, "Hope I'm not a toad. :) i'm a very fit fun classy guy. Live in Cap Hill area. 6ft 190lbs blond/blue. 39.. Lobbyist. I promise not to disappoint."
Shortly after the story broke, Rep. Lee released the following statement on his website:
"It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. 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 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."
The House announced Chris Lee's resignation on the floor shortly after Lee released the above statement. Watch the video below:
Gawker.com's Editor-in-Chief Remy Stern says his staff held the story for a week, and as soon as they contacted Rep. Lee's office about it Tuesday morning, Rep. Lee's personal Facebook profile and G-mail account that the message was apparently sent from disappeared.
"After speaking with her, after looking at the e-mails, after trying to see if it was possible to see if the picture was doctored or she had an agenda of some sort, was she looking to discredit him in some way, we came to the conclusion that, in fact, she was telling a story that was true," said Stern.
Stern also said that Rep. Lee's office told him Tuesday that someone must have hacked into the Lee's G-mail account. Even if the Gawker.com report is true, there is nothing that is apparently illegal about the exchange.
Rep. Lee has been representing New York's 26th congressional district since 2009 and is a member of the Republican Party. Lee lives in Clarence with his wife, Michele, and young son, Johnathan.
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