WASHINGTON - Oregon Democratic Representative David Wu, accused of an unwanted sexual encounter with a campaign donor's 18-year-old daughter, announced his resignation late Wednesday, making him the fourth member of Congress to quit this year in sex-related scandals.
Wu notified Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and House Speaker John Boehner of his resignation effective at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
Wu's conduct has been called into question previously. He acknowledged earlier this year he was undergoing psychiatric treatment after his staff complained of erratic behavior, including emailing of a picture of himself dressed in a tiger costume.
The latest allegations against Wu surfaced last month when the Portland Oregonian newspaper reported the daughter of a high school friend who contributed to Wu's campaign accused him of making an unwanted sexual advance around Thanksgiving of last year.
Details of the nature of the alleged encounter have not been disclosed. Wu has not denied the accusation but has acknowledged more than once the allegation was "serious."
Wu, the first Chinese-American elected to Congress, promised last month to step down, but said at the time he wanted to wait until after the crisis over the U.S. debt ceiling was resolved.
"Serving as a U.S. congressman has been the greatest honor of my life," Wu said in a statement Wednesday. "There is no other job where you get up each day and ask, 'How can I try to make the world a better place today?"'
Wu, 56, becomes the latest in a line of politicians from both parties to become caught up in sex scandals this year.
New York Representative Anthony Weiner resigned in June after he admitted lying about sending lewd photos of himself to women on Twitter. Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign stepped down in May after a scandal involving an aide's wife and Republican Representative Chris Lee of New York quit in February after it was learned he emailed a shirtless photo of himself to a woman.
Wu, who represents the Portland area, was in his seventh two-year term in the House. Two Democrats have already announced they will seek Wu's seat in the 2012 congressional election. (Reporting by Molly O'Toole; Editing by Bill Trott)
© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.