One of the top Democrats in the Missouri House has resigned, for what House Speaker Elijah Haahr describes as “unethical conduct as a member of this body.”
Speaker Haahr, R-Springfield, issued a statement on Tuesday morning, announcing the resignation of State Rep. DaRon McGee, D-Kansas City, who also served as the assistant House Minority Leader. Haahr says he accepted McGee’s resignation, based on the unanimously agreed to report by the bipartisan House Ethics Committee.
“As leaders of our state, it is vital that we hold members and staff of the Missouri House of Representatives accountable for the unacceptable actions causing harm to individuals or harm to the integrity of the institution. The Committee’s report makes it clear that the actions of Rep. McGee are inexcusable and absent his resignation from the House, the Committee was prepared to recommend to the entire body severe disciplinary action,” Haahr’s statement reads, in part.
While Speaker Haahr’s statement doesn’t describe specifics of what happened, the “Kansas City Star” reports the House Ethics Committee obtained text messages between McGee and a House employee whom he supervised. The newspaper reports the text messages show McGee made several attempts during a 10-month timeframe to initiate a sexual relationship with the employee.
The “Star” says those attempts were rejected, and that Representative McGee then took action that resulted in the employee losing her job.
Speaker Haahr’s statement says the Ethics Committee has been investigating the case for three months, “which required a subpoena of Rep. McGee to compel his cooperation.”
Haahr says Representative McGee’s behavior has broken the trust placed in him.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, has also issued a statement, saying McGee should no longer hold public office.
“The House Ethics Committee is to be commended for its fair, thorough and bipartisan investigation. By holding our colleagues accountable for their actions, we can begin to change the culture of an institution where behavior such as this has been tolerated for far too long,” Leader Quade’s statement reads, in part.
Representative McGee briefed Capitol reporters at a Statehouse news conference just two weeks ago. He also spoke at a bipartisan press conference at the Missouri State Fair in August, regarding the drought.
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