JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Missouri Speaker of the House John Diehl is expected to resign Friday after admitting that he sent sexual text messages to an intern.
The Republican from Town and Country, an affluent St. Louis suburb, announced his resignation Thursday.
“For the good of my party, the caucus, and this state, I’m not going to further jeopardize what we have accomplished this year and what can be accomplished in the future,” Diehl said in a statement. “Therefore, I will be resigning the position of Speaker of the House and the office of state representative in a way that allows for an orderly transition.”
Majority Leader Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, was nominated to succeed Diehl during a closed caucus Thursday evening. The caucus’ choice will be put to a full vote Friday in the overwhelmingly Republican chamber.
Friday is the final day of the 2015 session.
The Kansas City Star on Wednesday posted a story reporting the text messages between Diehl and the 19-year-old intern. The texts included the intern sending a picture of her in a bikini, the Star reported.
Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, called Diehl’s resignation “an appropriate and necessary step.”
“Our thoughts go out to the families who have been affected by the speaker’s conduct,” Nixon said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the next speaker to restore the public trust and continue building a brighter future for our state.”
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