WASHINGTON -- Rep. Christopher Lee, a second-term lawmaker representing Western New York state, is resigning from Congress after the release of e-mails the married Republican allegedly sent through an online personals site.
The abrupt announcement came just hours after the website Gawker published an exchange between Lee and an unnamed woman, which included a shirtless photo of the married 46-year-old. In the e-mails, apparently sent from Lee's personal e-mail using his real name, he claimed to be a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist.
"The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately," Lee said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
"It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York," he continued. "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 have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness."