Ohio state senator resigns over ‘inappropriate conduct’

COLUMBUS, Ohio - While Hollywood faces widespread sexual assault and harassment allegations, closer to home, an Ohio state senator has resigned over “inappropriate conduct.”

Veteran lawmaker Cliff Hite (R., Findley) abruptly gave up his state senate seat Monday night.

In a statement released on Twitter Tuesday the 63-year-old former teacher cited “failing health” and a “mistake in judgement” for his immediate departure.

He said in part, “I’m not proud of recent in appropriate conversations that I had with a state employee....after we met, I sometimes asked her for hugs.”

Hite admitted his actions were inappropriate and apologized to the woman and his wife.

Diane added her own statement saying she loves and forgives her husband, who made a mistake. She said they’re in counseling working on their marriage his health. Hite has been described as “seriously ill” and is scheduled for two surgeries next month.

Senate President Larry Obhoff (R., Medina) immediately accepted the resignation and told reporters Wednesday he’s already spoken with the Chief of Staff about implementing “sexual harassment training.”

“We are planning to do something like that at the beginning of every legislative cycle,” said Sen. Obhoff, “But in the short-term, we plan to have something like that for members and staff of both parties in the near future.”

The process to replace Hite should be announced by the end of the week.