Dec. 8 (UPI) — One day after a House committee opened an investigation into claims of sexual harassment against Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican said Friday he’ll resign immediately.
Franks said Thursday he planned to resign effective January 31, but he changed his decision a day later after his wife was admitted to a hospital for an “ongoing ailment.”
“Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C., due to an ongoing ailment. After discussing options with my wife, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my resignation effective today, December 8th, 2017,” he said in a statement obtained by the Arizona Republic.
The House Ethics Committee said it was investigating Franks over claims he “engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”
Franks said Thursday he talked about his family’s fertility problems and surrogacy options with two female employees.
Franks said those comments weren’t sexual, but he recently learned the discussions “made certain individuals uncomfortable.”
Politico published a report Friday, in which House GOP sources said those female staff members weren’t sure if Franks asked to impregnate them through sexual intercourse. Sources also told Politico that Franks tried to convince a female aide they were in love and cut off communication with a woman after she rejected his advances.
His spokesperson denied those claims.
Someone contacted the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., about Franks’ misconduct two weeks ago, Politico reported. After Ryan vetted the claims, he asked Franks to resign, the report said.