An Ohio lawmaker known for his devotion to “family values” has stepped down after allegedly engaging in “inappropriate conduct with another man” in his office.
State Rep. Wes Goodman (R-Cardington) resigned Tuesday after a witness reported the incident to Ohio House chief of staff Mike Dittoe, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Specifics of the alleged incident are unclear.
House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said he met with Goodman on Tuesday, and that the lawmaker “acknowledged and confirmed the allegations.”
“I was alerted to details yesterday afternoon regarding his involvement in inappropriate behavior related to his state office,” Rosenberger said Wednesday. “It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”
I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service. Former Ohio state Rep. Wes Goodman
Goodman, 33, confirmed his resignation on Wednesday in a statement to The Associated Press.
“We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life,” he wrote. “That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service.”
“For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry,” he added.
Goodman regularly displayed photos of himself and his wife on his website, where he also wrote about protecting family values. The site appeared to be down as of Friday afternoon, and Goodman’s Twitter account has been set to private.
“The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting,” he wrote on his official website, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Goodman also served as the managing director of the Conservative Action Project, which fought for “conservative principles” like “repealing Obamacare” and “religious liberty,” according to the AP.
Goodman’s departure follows that of Michael Premo, the chief of staff for the Ohio Senate Democrats who resigned Monday amidst “concerns of inappropriate conduct,” according to the Columbus Dispatch. Ohio state Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) stepped down last month after a female state employee said he repeatedly propositioned her for sex.
UPDATE Nov. 18: The Washington Post reports that Goodman allegedly fondled an 18-year-old college student in a hotel room at a 2015 event for the Council for National Policy. It’s unclear if this was the alleged incident that prompted Goodman’s resignation or a separate claim.
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