JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The No. 2 Democrat in the Missouri House has resigned his seat following an ethics report determining his “actions constitute ethical misconduct.”
Rep. DaRon McGee’s resignation letter and the House Committee on Ethic’s findings were printed in the Journal of the House for April 29, 2019, which became available Tuesday.
“I have accepted an employment position in Kansas City, Missouri which will, unfortunately, cause me to return to my district full-time. As such, pursuant to RSMo. 21.090, I regrettably submit my resignation as District 36 State Representative effective immediately. It has been an honor to serve,” McGee wrote in his second letter of resignation.
Since the beginning of January, the minority assistant floor leader has been under investigation by an ethics committee in the House.
The House engaged outside counsel to investigate allegations McGee attempted to engage in an amorous relationship with an employee whom he supervised, according to the findings. Based on the outside counsel’s report, the committee proceeded to a preliminary hearing.
On the committee’s request, the Speaker of the House issued a subpoena for electronic communications between McGee and his employee.
“Several of the text messages instigated by the Respondent were flirtatious in nature, and gave the appearance of the Respondent attempting to establish an amorous relationship with the Employee,” the committee’s report states.
After its investigation, the committee found McGee attempted to engage in an “amorous” relationship — attempts not welcomed by his employee — and then he took actions that “resulted in the termination of the employment of the Employee.”
Recommended sanctions included paying $7,408.05 in restitution, the cost of the investigation, he resign his leadership position, and be removed from all committees.
“Based on the unanimously agreed to report by the bipartisan House Committee on Ethics, I have accepted the resignation of Rep. DaRon McGee for unethical conduct as a Member of this body,” said House Speaker Elijah Haahr. “The Committee’s report makes it clear that the actions by Rep. McGee are inexcusable and absent his resignation from the House, the Committee was prepared to recommend to the entire body severe disciplinary action … The Committee’s report is an indictment that Rep. McGee’s behavior, in the course of his duties as a State Representative, has substantially broken the trust placed in him and constitutes abuse of his position. I stand by the Committee’s work and their report outlining the indefensible behavior of Rep. McGee.”
“Serving in the Missouri House of Representatives is a great honor, and members have a solemn duty to serve honorably. Representative McGee failed to uphold that standard by engaging in behavior that cannot be tolerated from an elected official. As a result, he should no longer hold public office,” said House Minority Leader Crystal Quade. “The House Ethics Committee is to be commended for its fair, thorough and bipartisan investigation. By holding our colleagues accountable for their actions, we can begin to change the culture of an institution where behavior such as this has been tolerated for far too long.”
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.