State Senator Cliff Hite resigned Monday following what he called “inappropriate conversations.” Hite also cited his failing health as a reason for resigning.
“I am 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,” Hite said in a statement released on Twitter. “After we met, I sometimes asked her for hugs and talked with her in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, a father, and a grandfather like myself. Beyond those hugs, there was no inappropriate physical contact.”
Hite said he recognized it was inappropriate behavior.
“She deserves more respect than that and so does my wife. I apologize completely. This is no one’s fault but my own. I’m proud of my long career as a teacher, coach, and legislator but I’m not proud of how I acted with this person.”
Hite went on to say he has been seriously ill over the last year and been hospitalized for several days. He now faces two surgeries scheduled for next month.
“I just don’t have the strength to continue to travel back and forth from northwest Ohio to Columbus each week and make my way around such a large Senate district,” he said on Twitter. “The combination of my mistake in judgment and my failing health led me to decide to step down, so someone else can represent the good people of my district.”
Hite represented District 1, which includes southeast Fulton County.
The selection of a replacement will begin soon.
“Senator Hite submitted his resignation to me on Monday evening, and I accepted it, effective immediately,” said Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina). I will announce an application process for selecting a replacement to the 1st Senate District seat by the end of the week.”