A married New York congressman abruptly resigned Wednesday after it was revealed that he sent a shirtless photo and emails to a woman he met on Craigslist. Republican Christopher Lee stepped down just four hours after the web site Gawker published the photo and the emails.
In a brief statement, Lee admitted he made "profound mistakes" and said he was quitting the seat he won in 2008.
"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 promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness."
The 46-year-old Lee sent the Washington woman a series of emails last month claiming he was a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist and a "classy guy."
Gawker reported that the unidentified 34-year-old woman posted an ad on Craigslist's "Women for Men" section, asking for proof that not all men on the site "look like toads."
Lee replied on his private Gmail account:
Hope I'm not a toad. :) i'm a very fit fun classy guy. 6ft 190lbs blond/blue. 39. Lobbyist. I promise not to disappoint.
They exchanged a few emails, but the woman told Gawker she stopped replying after she looked up Lee online and realized he was lying about his age and occupation.
At first, his office denied it all, saying email account had been hacked. But later Lee came clean.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will have to call a special election to fill Lee's seat, which represents the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester as well as a large part of western New York.