GOP rising star resigns after being accused of 'inappropriate behavior' with another man

Ohio state Rep. Wesley Goodman (R) abruptly resigned this week after state lawmakers learned of what Ohio's House Speaker called "inappropriate behavior related to his state office.”

Goodman, a vocally anti-LGBT lawmaker, resigned Wednesday after being confronted with evidence of inappropriate behavior with another man in his office, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

In a statement Wednesday, Goodman said he "sincerely regrets" that his actions were a distraction from his job in Ohio's legislature.

“I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service,” the statement said.

According to a Friday report by The Washington Post, Goodman was also accused of allegedly fondling a supporter's teenage son without his consent during a conference in Washington, D.C., two years ago. The allegations were never made public. 

The report reveals that prominent conservative activist Tony Perkins, who heads the Council for National Policy as well as the Family Research Council, knew about the allegations against Goodman shortly after the incident occurred. 

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In a letter to Goodman in December 2015, Perkins urged the candidate to hold off on running for office until he sought treatment. He also suspended him from the council.

“Going forward so soon, without some distance from your past behavior and a track record of recovery, carries great risk for you and for those who are supporting you,” Perkins wrote to Goodman at the time.

Goodman went on to defeat two Republicans in a primary before winning his seat in November 2016.

Supporters of Goodman's campaign expressed their frustration at learning that Perkins knew about allegations regarding Goodman before he went on to later misconduct at the statehouse.

“We are so sick of people knowing and doing nothing. If someone knew, they had an obligation to say something. That’s what you do. That’s how you hold society together,” said Thomas R. Zawistowski, who runs an Ohio conservative group that endorsed Goodman.

 

Perkins did not respond to requests for comment by the Post.

Goodman's campaign website describes his family values, saying, "healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio's proud history and the key to Ohio's future greatness. The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting."