- Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona resigned on Friday after reports that he offered a former staffer $5 million to bear his child.
- Franks had previously announced that he would resign in January.
- He is the first Republican congressman to resign amid a wave of sexual-misconduct allegations.
Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona resigned on Friday amid allegations that he offered a former staffer $5 million to bear his child.
Franks had previously announced he would resign in January, and he said his decision to resign on Friday instead came after his wife was admitted to the hospital.
Politico’s report says Franks announced his resignation hours after the publication reached out for comment about an allegation that he retaliated against a staffer who rebuffed his advances.
“Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C., due to an ongoing ailment,” Franks said in a statement. “After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today, December 8th, 2017.”
Franks said in an earlier statement that his wife had “long struggled with infertility” and had three miscarriages.
Politico’s report on Friday described a former staffer as saying Franks had tried to convince a female aide that they were in love by having her read an article that discussed how to identify the emotion. And one woman told Republican leaders that after she rebuffed Franks’ advances her access to him was revoked, the report said.
Franks has denied those the allegations, Politico said.
Franks, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, was facing an investigation by the House Ethics Committee over allegations of sexual misconduct. He has acknowledged that he discussed surrogacy with two female subordinates.
“I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress,” Franks said in a statement on Thursday.
In that statement, Franks said he would resign on January 31, adding he was “deeply convinced” that an impartial ethics investigation couldn’t be completed before “distorted and sensationalized versions of this story” surfaced and subjected him and others to “hyperbolized public excoriation.”
Franks is the third member of Congress and the first Republican to announce plans to resign amid sexual-misconduct allegations, according to Politico. Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona will reportedly announce on Monday the dates for a special election to replace Franks.