A second staffer for Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House Gallego on Jan. 6 rioters: 'F--- them' The Hill's Morning Report - For Biden, it goes from bad to worse MORE (R), resigned late last week amid allegations that the Florida congressman engaged in sex trafficking and sex with a minor, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Gaetz's legislative director Devin Murphy was the second staffer to leave Gaetz's office, three people with knowledge of the matter told the Times.
The Hill has reached out for comment on Murphy's exit.
Murphy's departure comes behind Luke Ball, the congressman's former communications chief, who left the Republican's team just days earlier.
Murphy's exit was due to his desire to work on serious legislation, not speculation about his boss, colleagues told the Times.
The Times first reported earlier last week that Gaetz was under investigation by the Department of Justice for allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for the girl to travel with him.
Gaetz has denied the allegations and vowed to remain in office. He has argued publicly in the days since the Justice Department's investigation was first reported that he and his family are the target of an extortion scheme.
A friend of Gaetz believed to be at the center of the investigation, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, is expected to strike a plea deal and cooperate with investigators on the matter in the coming days, according to the Post and CNN.
Greenberg is charged with sex trafficking of a child and other offenses, and is believed to have helped Gaetz meet women whom the pair allegedly paid for sex, the Times reported.
“Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex,” his office said in a statement in response to the Times report. “Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely. Matt Gaetz has never ever been on any such websites whatsoever. Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life.”
Updated: 7:28 p.m.