The female congressional staffer seen kissing Rep. Vance McAllister (R - LA) on surveillance video has been ‚Äútaken off payroll.‚ÄĚ The Monroe News Star reports that the woman, Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, ‚Äúvoluntarily resigned.‚ÄĚ
Peacock was taken off payroll within 24 hours of the story surfacing.
Footage of the married McAllister kissing the also married Peacock went viral after being published on Monday. Many accused McAllister of hypocrisy given his staunch support of traditional marriage and the deeply religious base he appeals to for votes.
Yesterday, McAllister released a statement in which he said he let his family and constituents down.
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‚ÄúI have fallen short as a husband and a father, and I feel more ashamed than you can imagine,‚ÄĚ said McAllister. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve asked them for forgiveness, and I‚Äôm asking forgiveness from my constituents who elected me to serve them.‚ÄĚ
Meanwhile, Peacock and her husband are reportedly filing for divorce. Husband Heath Peacock says the scandal has left him devastated.
‚ÄúHe wrecked my life,‚ÄĚ Heath Peacock said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre headed for divorce‚Ä¶ I‚Äôm just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I‚Äôm going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare.‚ÄĚ
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McAllister, job in hand, seems to be doing just fine. He already announced he plans to run for reelection come next election cycle. He says he will run ‚Äúunless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people."
McAllister‚Äôs marital commitment isn‚Äôt the only thing to come into question through this scandal. In an interview with CNN, Heath Peacock says the representative is blatantly lying about his religious beliefs in order to attract votes.
"I know his beliefs,‚ÄĚ Peacock said. ‚ÄúWhen he ran one of his commercials, he said ‚ÄėI need your prayers,‚Äô and I asked, ‚ÄėWhen did you get religious?‚Äô He said, ‚ÄėWhen I needed votes‚Äô. He broke out the religious card and he‚Äôs about the most non-religious person I know.‚ÄĚ