The Idaho state lawmaker who is facing accusations of raping a 19-year-old intern has resigned.
According to the newspaper, his resignation letter was read on the state House floor.
“It is my hope that this action spares my good colleagues any more difficulty in this area,” the letter said. “I maintain my innocence of any wrongdoing of which I have been accused in this matter, let alone any violation of any law, rule or policy of the state of Idaho or of this body.”
The Idaho House Ethics and House Policy Committee recommended censuring Ehlinger and suspending him on Thursday amid an allegation that he forced an intern to perform oral sex on him after they went to a restaurant.
Von Ehlinger has denied the allegations, which the Boise Police Department is investigating. He has not been charged with a crime.
A vote on the matter was expected as soon as Friday, and only a simple majority in the House was needed to suspend him.
The panel also said they would have unanimously supported expelling him if a member of the House brought forth such motion.
After the panel’s recommendation, House Speaker Scott Bedke (R) said in a statement that the panel “accurately determined that von Ehlinger engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of this House.”
“His behavior is something that we will not tolerate and casts a shadow over the good work done in the Idaho Statehouse. It is our privilege to serve and practicing strong ethics is central to serving in these hallowed halls.”
The Associated Press reported earlier this week that von Ehlinger had previous complaints against him and that he was previously warned to avoid contact perceived as flirtatious.
The AP reported that von Ehlinger got “defensive” over the warning and said he felt it was OK to ask women out at the Statehouse because they would tell him if they had an issue with it.
Updated at 9:19 a.m.