SNYDER, N.Y. (WIVB) - "Craigslist Congressman" Chris Lee lost a lot more than his shirt as a result of an online flirtation. The political landscape is still rumbling with the aftershocks of the shirtless scandal that prompted a lightning quick resignation.
House Speaker John Boehner said, "Congressman Lee made his own decision that he thought was in his best interest and the interest of his family."
The highest ranking Republican on the House says he thinks Lee made the right decision to step down, but Boehner wouldn't comment on a Politico.com report that Boehner had warned Lee and several other freshman last year to stop partying with female lobbyists.
Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said, "Chris was a guy that I think did enjoy nightlife, but that doesn't necessarily equal what we learned yesterday."
Langworthy says he was as shocked as anyone. Before he became Erie County's GOP Chair, Langworthy was Chris Lee's campaign manager and then District Director.
"He's a very private person. Chris Lee is a guy that was a workaholic. He had a great personality, he was a very caring person," said Langworthy.
We went to his home Snyder, but were immediately approached by Amherst Police saying that the family wants no one on the property. It is believed that Lee is now in Florida with his family.
Details of the scandal continue coming in. While the woman who he sent a shirtless photo to last month wishes to remain anonymous, she's identified as a 34-year-old African-American woman who tells the Loop.com that after she received it, she googled Lee's name. Her first reaction was 'holy ****,' second was 'he's probably done this before,' third was 'he's married,' fourth was 'oh my God, he's 46 years old.'
Langworthy said, "From what we know the man didn't commit a crime."
But he wasted no time ending a promising run in Congress.
"I think there's some honor in the fact that he stepped away when he was faced with the kind of scrutiny. He didn't try to hang on for dear life like some politicians we've seen. I mean,Chris was a very private person and I don't think he appreciated public scrutiny that much," said Langworthy.
Chris Lee is a multi-millionaire, but has given up a $174,000 base salary in Congress, and he will not get a Congressional pension because he had not served at least five years.
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