10/18/17 – 5:11 A.M.
UPDATE – 8:49 A.M.
UPDATE – 9:11 A.M.
Former State Senator Cliff Hite has issued a statement about sexual harassment rumors that started after his sudden resignation Tuesday. In a statement released Wednesday, Hite said, “I’m not proud of recent inappropriate conversations that I had with a state employee who did not work for me but worked in a nearby state office. After we met, I sometimes asked her for hugs and talked with her in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, father, and grandfather like myself.” Hite says he had no inappropriate contact with the woman beyond the hugs.
Hite’s wife Diane also commented on the issue. Her statement said, “I love my husband and he’s a good man but he made a mistake here. He told me all about it, apologized to me, and I forgive him.”
Hite again said family health problems forced him to resign from his position Tuesday. The statement says, “I’ve been seriously ill over the last year and have been hospitalized for several days, and I am now facing two different surgeries scheduled next month.”
The Senate Republican Caucus will have the final say on Hite’s replacement. Senate President Larry Obhof will set the selection process by the end of the week.