A right-wing Ohio legislator who has touted his religious faith and family values has resigned after being caught in “inappropriate behavior” of a romantic or sexual nature with a man in his office.
The incident happened a few weeks ago Rep. Wes Goodman’s office and “involved a male in a consensual situation,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Someone informed House Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe about the incident Tuesday, and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger met with Goodman later in the day, according to the paper. Goodman then resigned late Tuesday.
“He acknowledged and confirmed the allegations,” Rosenberger said in a prepared statement to the Dispatch. “It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”
Rosenberger spokesman Brad Miller told the paper that the incident did not involve staffers or other legislators, but “it was activity unbecoming of a state representative.” He declined to provide further details.
Goodman, a Republican, was elected to represent the 87th District, in north-central Ohio, just last year. He promoted himself as a Christian conservative and said on his campaign website, “healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history,” according to the Dispatch.
Before that, he was an aide to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, an ultraconservative, anti-LGBT Republican who has a string of zeroes on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard and was named to the organization’s Hall of Shame in 2014 for, among other things, trying to block marriage equality in the District of Columbia.
Rumors of Goodman’s “inappropriate behavior” had been circulating for years in Washington and Ohio, the Dispatch reports, although Jordan said he saw no evident of Goodman engaging in such conduct.
Goodman, 33, who is married to a woman, issued a statement of apology: “We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life. That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service. For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry. As I move onto the next chapter of my life, I sincerely ask for privacy for myself, my family, and my friends.”