Representative Christopher Lee of New York abruptly resigned on Wednesday night after a shirtless photo of himself, which he had e-mailed to a woman, was published on the Internet.
Mr. Lee, a two-term Republican from western New York, notified the House speaker, John A. Boehner, of his decision in a letter on Wednesday afternoon, after the scandal had erupted, according to senior Congressional officials.
Mr. Lee’s office released a statement in which he asked for forgiveness. “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” he wrote. “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 resignation came hours after Gawker, a gossip Web site, published an e-mail exchange that Mr. Lee, who is married and has a son, had with a 34-year-old Maryland woman he had met through Craigslist.
According to Gawker, Mr. Lee, who is 46, replied to a personal ad that the woman had placed in the “Women for Men” section of Craigslist, seeking a financially and emotionally secure man.
No, no picture of the shirtless Mr. Lee. Sorry.
How could Mr. Lee do something so stupid and believe he could get away with it? At some point, one has to wonder if folks like Mr. Lee want to get caught.
Gawker said the woman, a government employee who asked not to be identified, eventually stopped contacting Mr. Lee after she searched for his name online and discovered that he was lying about his profession and his age. The woman then sent the e-mails to Gawker.
UPDATE: Ed of "The Ed Show" on MSNBC showed the picture of the shirtless Lee and said, "Isn't that special?"