Rep. Franks resigns after staff members complain of harassment

Rep. Franks resigns after staff members complain of harassment
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Trent Franks said on Thursday he would resign after two female staffers complained that he had discussed surrogacy with them.

Franks, 60, who has been a member of Congress from Arizona since 2003, said in a statement that he would step down on Jan. 31.

The House of Representatives Ethics Committee announced on Thursday that it had opened an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment against Franks.

The congressman said he was resigning because coverage of the committees investigation in the current cultural and media climate would damage those things I love most.

Franks said he and his wife had struggled with infertility and sought a surrogate in order to have another child after they had twins with a surrogate.

I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable, Franks said.

I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress, he said.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan was briefed on the allegations on Nov. 29 and urged Franks to resign in a conversation the following day, Ryans office said in a statement.


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