Republican Congressman Chris Lee from Western New York's 26th District, officially resigned from his powerful position in the House of Representatives late Wednesday afternoon.
This came after a media frenzy after reports surfaced that he allegedly sent provocative pictures of himself, along with e-mails, to a woman on the internet.
The congressman talked briefly with Fox News Wednesday afternoon telling a producer, "I have to work this out with my wife." He made the comments while walking to his car at the Capitol.
Congressman Lee found himself embroiled in scandal after the website Gawker.com reported the two term Congressman from the 26th district allegedly sent a shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.com.
Numerous attempts to contact Congressman Lee at his office in Amherst and in Washington prior to his resignation announcement, were unsuccessful.
According to the website story, an unidentified woman gave Gawker.com e-mail correspondence purportedly between her and the congressman, in which Lee allegedly lied about his age, marital status, and job.
The Gawker.com story went on to say Lee was responding to the woman's personal ad on Craigslist. The Gawker.com story reports Lee, in an e-mail exchange with the woman, told her he was 39 years old, divorced, and a lobbyist. The web site reports the woman cut off contact with Lee after she found out he is actually 46, married with a child, and a United States Congressman.
Channel 7's Eyewitness News, with the resources of ABC NEWS in Washington D.C., were FIRST to break the news of Lee's resignation at 6p.m. Click the video for the announcement.
Here is the text of the Statement from Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26):
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.
“The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”
Eyewitness News will continue to follow this story, and how it impacts the political balance for WNY representation.