Oklahoma lawmaker accused of harassment submits resignation

An Oklahoma lawmaker who admitted asking a legislative aide to send him topless photos and accompany him to a strip club announced plans to resign on Saturday, two days after a special House committee recommended he be expelled from office.

"I hereby irrevocably tender my resignation from the elected position as State Representative for House District 75," Republican Dan Kirby of Tulsa said in the two sentence letter to Republican House Speaker Charles McCall. "Such Resignation shall become effective Wednesday, March 1st, 2017."

McCall spokesman Jason Sutton said the speaker received the letter and forwarded it to Gov. Mary Fallin.

"He's resigning, it's irrevocable, so he's leaving the Legislature," Sutton said.

Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt said Fallin will now begin the process of scheduling a special election to fill the vacancy.

"I respect Rep. Kirby's decision, and it is in everyone's best interest so we can focus on state issues," Fallin said in a statement.

Kirby did not return a phone call seeking comment, but issued a statement saying he can't continue fighting what he called "unfounded accusations" and reiterated his denial that he sexually harassed anyone.

"In hindsight, it was poor judgement to work with someone with whom I had a very close and personal relationship with for over 5 years, but I strongly disagree that our actions warrant my expulsion," Kirby wrote.

Kirby has said the relationship was consensual.

The chairman of the House committee, Republican Rep. Josh Cockroft, said after Thursday's vote that he believed a two-thirds majority of the 101-member House, 68 members, would vote to expel Kirby if he did not resign.

House Minority Lead Scott Inman, D-Del City, released a statement saying he and the Democratic caucus "were pleased to hear that Representative Kirby has done the right thing and resigned. We hope the victims of this sordid episode find some measure of comfort in the announcement.