Ari­zona Repub­li­can re­signs in face of House in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Mike DeBo­nis and Michelle Ye Hee Lee

WASHINGTON» Rep. Trent Franks, an Ari­zona Repub­li­can who is among the most con­ser­va­tive mem­bers of the House, said he would re­sign his seat af­ter House of­fi­cials learned that he had asked two fe­male em­ploy­ees to bear his chil­dren as sur­ro­gates.

Franks’ an­nounce­ment came as the House Ethics Com­mit­tee said it would cre­ate a spe­cial sub­com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate Franks for con­duct “that con­sti­tutes sex­ual harassment and/or re­tal­i­a­tion for op­pos­ing sex­ual harassment.”

His res­ig­na­tion, which Franks said is ef­fec­tive Jan. 31, will end the ethics in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Franks said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cerns his “dis­cus­sion of sur­ro­gacy with two pre­vi­ous fe­male sub­or­di­nates, mak­ing each feel un­com­fort­able.”

While Franks’ state­ment left the cir­cum­stances of the “dis­cus­sion” murky, three Repub­li­cans fa­mil­iar with the al­le­ga­tions said that he had asked the staffers, who worked for him at the time but have since left his of­fice, if they would serve as sur­ro­gate moth­ers for his chil­dren.

In his state­ment, Franks said he never “phys­i­cally in­tim­i­dated, co­erced, or had, or at­tempted to have, any sex­ual con­tact with any mem­ber of my con­gres­sional staff.”

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