Oregon Rep. Wu to resign over sex allegations

By Kase Wickman
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 12:19 EDT
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Rep. David Wu (D-OR), despite insisting to colleagues that he had done “nothing illegal,” announced Tuesday that he will resign, according to the Associated Press.

The congressman is facing scrutiny after a teenage girl’s accusation that she had an “unwanted sexual encounter” with him over Thanksgiving last year.

Wu released a statement, reading in part, “the time has come to hand on the privilege of high office. I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations.”

He said his resignation will take effect when the debt ceiling crisis is resolved.

Wu met with Rep. John Larson (D-CT), the head of the House Democratic Caucus, for 40 minutes Monday to discuss the situation, Politico reported. Wu admitted to Larson that he “did not use good judgement,” but most other details of their conversation are not known.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate Wu’s behavior. Sunday night, Wu said that he would not resign, but confirmed that he would not be seeking reelection in 2012.

Wu’s accuser, a teenage girl, left a distraught voice message at Wu’s Portland congressional office, saying that she had had an “unwanted and aggressive sexual encounter” with the congressman. Weeks earlier, Wu’s behavior had become so erratic that his staff avoided scheduling him for public appearances, and several senior aides quit.

Since news of the voicemail leaked, the girl and her father — a friend and donor of Wu’s — have declined to speak to the press. No criminal complaint has been filed.

Wu was previously accused, while a student at Stanford in the 1970s, of attempting to rape an ex-girlfriend. No criminal charges were pressed.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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