A California Assemblyman caught on tape bragging about having sex with lobbyists has abruptly resigned. Los Angeles television station KCAL ran a report Tuesday night about Michael Duvall talking to a colleague about sex, not knowing the microphone in front of him was on.
Here is the report:
Action against Duvall was swift. Wednesday morning his fellow legislators stripped him of his comittee posts, and launched an ethics investigation into his actions. Duvall saw the handwriting on the wall, and in the afternoon issued the following written statement:
"I am deeply saddened that my inappropriate comments have become a major distraction for my colleagues in the Assembly, who are working hard on the very serious problems facing our state. I have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to my family, my constituents or to my friends on both sides of the aisle to remain in office. Therefore, I have decided to resign my office, effective immediately, so that the Assembly can get back to work."
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Duvall is married, and was well known for being a staunch conservative who was big on family values issues. But according to the KCAL report, he was also known among his colleagues as a man who couldn't stop talking about his sexual conquests.
Before he resigned, Duvall issued an apology on his website:
"I made a mistake and I sincerely apologize. I deeply regret the comments I made in what I believed to be a private conversation. This is a private matter and I ask that everyone respect the privacy of all involved."
The KCAL report said at least one of the women was a lobbyist with a utility company that did business with Duvall's committee. That company appears to be San Diego-based energy firm Sempra, which issued its own statement:
"We are investigating this matter and the recent media reports that named one of our employees. The employee has denied the speculative media reports. Our investigation will be conducted to ensure not only that our policies on employee conduct are strictly adhered to, but also that our employee is treated fairly."
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Duvall's now former colleagues are disgusted with his behavior. "I am terribly disappointed by the situation surrounding Assemblyman Duvall's comments," said Assembly GOP Leader Sam Blakeslee. "The statements he made were inappropriate and unacceptable."
Democratic Assembly Speaker Karen Bass said Duvall's comments left her "saddened and disappointed... The Assembly has some very important policy work to complete in the next couple of days and we will not allow this situation to become a distraction."