Australian politician, avowed Catholic and married father-of-two Peter Dowling announced his resignation after a woman claiming to be his mistress informed the Queensland parliament that he had misappropriated government travel funds during the course of their affair. She also claims that Dowling, the former chairman of the Ethics committee, sent her explicit text messages and photographs not "befitting a Member of the Queensland parliament," including one in which he immersed his penis in a glass of red wine.

Dowling apologized for his behavior. "To my wife, my children, mum, brother and sister, my extended family and friends I am sorry for the shame and embarrassment that I have caused you. I am not proud of the events plastered all over today's paper and I cannot and will not defend any part of it," he said.

Fellow Parliamentarians expressed shock at the revelations. As one anonymously confided to The Australian, "It has me stumped; Peter is a good bloke, a family man, a Catholic and smart." The same member added, "I won't be accepting any invitation from him in the future to go for a drink."

According to his alleged mistress, the behaviors Dowling will not defend include promising that they would live together after the 2015 election and sleeping with her in his Parliament office, as well as the bed he shared with his wife of 27 years, Helen. Moreover, she believes that she is but "one of a number of woman ... who has [sic] been treated in this way Mr. Dowling," which means that Dowling may soon find himself in a position similar to that of Anthony Weiner: facing the first of many accusations of impropriety.

Watch a report on Dowling's resignation, including his statement to Parliament colleagues, posted on YouTube by user "Greenshack Dotinfo," below.

[Image via Ari Gelb on Flickr, Creative Commons licensed.]