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Disgraced Curtis
Resigns From Office

Disgraced Curtis
Resigns From Office

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Richard Curtis, the latest Republican to become embroiled in a gay sex scandal, will resign his post in the Washington State house of representatives.

Richard Curtis, the latest Republican to become embroiled in a gay sex scandal, will resign his post in the Washington State house of representatives, according to a statement released by the legislator's office. The announcement came Wednesday after he admitted to police that he had engaged in sex with Cody Castagna, contradicting his initial statement that they did not have sex.

"Today I submitted my letter of resignation to Governor Gregoire effective immediately," Curtis said in the statement. "While I believe we've done some good and helped a lot of people during the time I served in the legislature, events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.

"This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office."

Castagna allegedly tried to blackmail Curtis for $1,000, threatening to reveal to the lawmaker's wife that the two had had sex if he did not pay, The Columbian newspaper, based in Vancouver, Wash., reported. According to Castagna's statement to police, Curtis said his wife knew he was attracted to men and didn't approve, so Curtis only met with men when traveling out of town.

In 2001, Castagna pleaded guilty to a forgery case. He served two months in jail and a year in community custody, The Columbian reports.

Curtis is a two-term Republican senator and retired fire department captain. He was visiting Spokane for a GOP strategy session gearing up for the 2008 legislative race.

"I feel that, honestly, I'm being wrongly accused and that [Curtis] is using his power to take it off of him and put it on me," Castagna, 26, said Tuesday at a press conference. "He has completely changed what actually happened and turned it around for his favor." Castagna's attorney, David Partovi, added that his client did not make the alleged threats and that this is a "low-level situation that's being blown out of proportion by somebody who is trying to save themselves."

Curtis contacted Washington State patrol sergeant Roy Rhine, a friend and Republican who has run for the state legislature. According to a Spokane police report, Curtis went to Rhine because he was concerned that local police would leak the story to the press. The state patrol reported the case to Spokane authorities.

Spokane police have video footage from the hotel and the sex shop, digital records of when Curtis's hotel room door was opened and closed, and hotel records purportedly showing the rental of gay porn movies by someone in Curtis's room, The Columbian reports. (The Advocate)

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