Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) has announced that she will resign after it was revealed that she had maintained a relationship with a young female campaign staffer and the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into an alleged relationship with her legislative director.
“It is with a broken heart today that I announce my resignation from Congress. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” she wrote in a statement.
The scandal originally broke after a photo surfaced of a nude Hill brushing the hair of a female campaign staffer. The staffer worked on her 2018 campaign to unseat Republican Rep. Steve Knight.
The relationship with the staffer allegedly took place during her marriage to now-estranged husband Kenny Heslep, who was also involved in the relationship with the staffer.
Additional photos were published by the Daily Mail showing Hill holding a bong, as well as text messages that show concern about her drinking habits from campaign workers and her husband.
Hill has since admitted to the relationship with the staffer, although she denies having an affair with legislative director Graham Kelly. The House Ethics Committee announced on October 23 that it would be opening an investigation into Hill’s relationship with Kelly.
House rules prohibit representatives from having sexual relationships with congressional staffers, but do not expressly address relationships with campaign workers prior to a member taking office.
Hill’s resignation opens up the race for the 25th District seat.