BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Former Congressman Chris Lee isn't coming out of hiding yet. It's believed he's with family in Florida.
But we are learning much more about the woman whose personal ad led to the shirtless scandal that ended Lee's political career in a flash. Lee's name placard in the lobby of his Williamsville office has already been taken down.
And House Speaker John Boehner kept his comments about his now-former colleague very brief on Thursday, saying, "Congressman Lee made his own decision that he thought was in his best interest and the interest of his family. I think he made the right decision for he and his family."
So who is the Maryland woman who went public with the now infamous picture? We've learned that the woman is 34-year-old Yesha Callahan, a single mother who works at the University of Maryland. She told the Washington Post that she exchanged around 10 e-mails with the former Congressman before she found out who he really was.
More on Chris Lee's resignation:
Lee said, "The train has left the station and we're going to DC!"
He was ready to take on Washington back in 2008. With his family by his side, political newcomer Chris Lee was all smiles after his big win on election night. He took the seat held by Tom Reynolds for 10 years.
He campaigned for months against Democrat Alice Kryzan. The campaign was ugly at times. Lee had this to say when his ethics were in question after he was fired from Ingram Micro for altering account information, "I made a mistake 20 years ago, which I owned up to at the time. I've gone on and had a very successful career and I want to take what I've learned over the last 20 years and apply it to Washington."
A "family values" Republican, Lee even talked about passing legislation to educate children on internet safety. And just hours after a shirtless photo went viral, the Congressman from the 26th District resigned.
Lee apparently sent the photo to a 34-year-old Yesha Callahan on Craigslist. She told another internet site Thursday that after a few messages were exchanged, she googled his name and was shocked. She told the Washington Post that she stopped e-mailing Lee after he asked her to send a racy photo of herself.
Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy said, "Chris Lee has committed no crimes. Chris is not Eliot Spitzer or one of those individuals. He's made some foolish decisions."
Nick Langworthy is a friend and was Lee's campaign manager. He's spoken with the former Congressman, and wouldn't go into detail about that conversation, but says he offered his support.
"This is someone that's had some failings in his marriage and personal life," said Langworthy.
News 4 has learned that Lee is in Florida at his father's home, and his wife has joined him there. Politico.com is reporting that House Speaker John Boehner last year had warned several freshman lawmakers, including Lee, to knock off the partying with female lobbyists. The speaker did not say whether or not he spoke with Lee.
Langworthy said, "There's people that enjoy nightlife, and there's people that don't, and Chris was a guy who did enjoy nightlife."
Yesha Callahan told the Post that she wrestled for weeks about what to do with the e-mails and photos of the Congressman. Her friends encouraged her to go public. She was hoping to remain unidentified.
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