(CN) — Arizona Rep. Trent Franks abruptly resigned Friday, bowing to an ultimatum from Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan told Franks that he would refer the allegations to the Ethics Committee, and urged him to step aside.
Earlier the eight-term lawmaker and staunch conservative had said he would step down at the end of the month after revealing he discussed surrogacy with two female staffers.
But he issued a statement Friday saying he would leave Congress immediately. He said his wife was hospitalized in Washington for “an ongoing ailment” and that it would be “the best thing for our family” to resign immediately.
In his original announcement, Franks said he had never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff.
An unnamed staffer later told the Associated Press the congressman repeatedly pressed her to carry his child, at one point offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate.
The former staffer said the congressman asked at least four times if she’d be willing to act as a surrogate in exchange for money. Franks, in his statement announcing his resignation, said he and his wife have struggled with infertility.