Huffpost Politics

Staffer Who Was Caught Kissing Vance McAllister Resigns, While Congressman Keeps His Job

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The staff member for Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) who was caught on tape kissing the married congressman has been "taken off the payroll," the News-Star reports.

On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen published a surveillance video purporting to show the Republican congressman kissing Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, his married district scheduler. McAllister later admitted that the video was of him, and apologized to his constituents.

"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness," the congressman said in a statement. "I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve."

Meanwhile, Peacock's husband says he is "devastated."

"I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare,” Heath Peacock told CNN on Tuesday. "He has wrecked my life."

McAllister chief of staff Adam Terry says Peacock has already been removed from the congressman's payroll.

However, the congressman told the News-Star he has no plans to resign. He says he will seek reelection in the fall "unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people."

Speaking Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he was pleased with McAllister's apology, but did not say if he thinks the congressman should step down.

“I've not had a chance to speak to the congressman, so I’m going to reserve further judgment on the question," Cantor said. "I will say that the American people deserve all of their representatives here in Washington to hold to a very high standard of behavior."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Cantor's party affiliation. The headline of this story has also been updated to reflect Peacock "voluntarily resigned" and was not fired, per a statement from McAllister's office.

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