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Political Headlines

Missouri lawmaker abruptly resigns, cites rumors about 'personal issues'

| Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, 9:45 p.m.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A legislator from the St. Louis area abruptly resigned Wednesday from the Missouri House, citing rumors about “some personal issues” as he became the third lawmaker to quit under pressure within the past year.

Republican Rep. Don Gosen of Chesterfield did not offer a specific explanation, either in an interview with The Associated Press or in his official resignation letter to Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson. He did say that the issues did not involve a relationship with an intern or staff member — scenarios that led to the downfall of two lawmakers last year.

“There've been some rumors, stories floating around the Capitol the last week — some true, some not true,” Gosen told the AP.

Richardson said in a statement that he asked Gosen to resign Tuesday night. He suggested Gosen had been involved in something inappropriate, but he wasn't specific.

Richardson has tried to place a greater emphasis on ethical behavior by lawmakers after ascending to the House's top leadership position after the resignation in May of Republican House Speaker John Diehl, who quit under mounting pressure after acknowledging he had exchanged sexually charged text messages with a Capitol intern.

A couple of months later, Democratic Sen. Paul LeVota of Independence resigned under pressure after being accused of sexually harassing interns. LeVota has denied the accusations.

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