Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Democrat State Rep resigns after allegedly sexually assaulting lobbyist

State Rep. Jose Cruz (D-OKC) resigned from office on Friday in the wake of an alleged sexual assault on a female lobbyist at a New Years' Eve party.

In his resignation letter, Cruz said the following:
“With a heavy heart, I am resigning as the Representative for House District 89.

I started 2022 by exercising poor judgment and acting inappropriately during a gathering. I deeply regret my conduct and that my actions made someone else uncomfortable. I’m upset with myself and embarrassed.

My actions on New Year’s Eve did not reflect my values and beliefs. I consider myself a champion of women and have deep respect for my female colleagues and friends. However, my conduct that evening was inappropriate. I take full responsibility for my behavior and I apologize.

I can’t express my gratitude enough to my constituents, donors, colleagues and family. I’m very proud to have represented the people of South Oklahoma City, and serving as your representative has been a great honor.

Nevertheless, I must resign my seat, take steps to right my wrongs and learn from this experience. And although I’m giving up this seat, I will not give up advocating for others and fighting to improve Oklahoma.”

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin said in a press release that she and Democratic Caucus Chair Cyndi Munson were made aware of credible sexual assault allegations on January 13th, "directly from the victim." They spoke to Cruz on the 17th, and advised him to resign from office.

Sarah Rivin, a lobbyist for the American Heart Association, told KFOR that Cruz sexually assaulted her in her apartment bathroom during a New Years' Eve party at which Cruz and his wife were among the guests.

You can read more from Rivin's conversation with KFOR here.

House District 89's previous representative resigned in January of 2020 to take another job. The seat sat empty until filled by the November 2020 election, which Cruz won with 66% of the vote. The district is the fifth or sixth most Democratic in the state.


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