California Representative to Resign in Light of Ethics Investigation

Tyra Hilliard
Staff Writer

PC: Wikimedia Commons

Rep. Katie Hill, who represents the state of California under the Democratic Party, has announced her resignation after the rise of an impending ethics investigation. The ongoing investigation appeared after allegations were made stating that Hill had an unprofessional sexual relationship with someone belonging to her congressional staff.

“It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress,” said Hill in a statement. “This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents and our country.”

A freshman lawmaker, Rep. Katie Hill has taken the political world by storm and has become well-respected in the Democratic Party. However, on Oct. 23, the House Ethics Committee announced the start of an investigation into the rumors that Hill was romantically involved with her legislative director, Graham Kelly, at some point. Katie Hill denied the allegation.

The first word of the possible relationship between Hill and Kelly was reported by an anti-democrat website titled ‘Red State.’ Hill names herself the victim of such accusations and said that it was part of a “smear campaign” led by her husband. A husband in which she is currently involved in a harsh divorce with. 

Kickstarted by an amendment made to House rules during the peak of the #MeToo movement, the ethics investigation concerning Hill has taken off. Within a six month span between the years 2017 and 2018, nine lawmakers have also resigned over different depths of alleged sexual misconduct.

In the month of February in 2018, one part of the rule change was approved. The change prevented lawmakers from pursing and engaging in sexual relations with someone who either works in their professional congressional office or serves on any committee that lawmaker holds a spot in as well. 

Even with nine previous lawmakers resigning from their post, Hill is the first member of Congress to reach the investigation stage in search for a possible violation of the new rule.

Hill, who has publicly come out as bisexual, has admitted to and apologized for an “inappropriate” relationship with her female campaign staffer. However, she maintains that there are currently no laws or House rules that bar consensual relationships with staffers.

The exact date of effectiveness for Hill’s resignation has not been released by Hill. 

“We must ensure a climate of integrity and dignity in the Congress, and in all workplaces,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, in a statement that claimed Hill’s “error in judgement” made it impossible for her to stay in office.

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