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Alaska AG resigns after sending 558 messages to junior employee

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson (R) has resigned from his post after allegedly sending 558 "uncomfortable" text messages to a younger female colleague earlier this year. 

In his letter of resignation to Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) obtained by The Hill, Clarkson said that it was an honor to serve the state, noting that he was "deeply moved" when the governor appointed him. 

"I regret that my actions and errors in judgment in interacting with a state employee have become a distraction to the good work and good people working in the state’s and your service," he wrote. 

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Records obtained by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica show Clarkson sending the female employee hundreds of text messages at all hours during a 27-day span, including late at night, usually punctuated with suggestive emojis such as a kiss face. 

The former state attorney general claimed in his resignation letter that he did not supervise the female colleague, adding that he believed that the feelings he messaged her about were "reciprocal" and "mutual."

"All of these texts were 'G' rated. There is nothing remotely salacious about the texts. In our texts we exchanged innocent mutual endearments between us in words and emojis. On several occasions, this person initiated a friendly hug when I came to her work place, and I reflexively gave her a tiny peck of a kiss on top of her head," he said. 

ProPublica and the Daily News, however, reported that Clarkson asked the colleague to come to his house 18 times, often commenting on her looks and beauty. 

“You’re beautiful ... sweet dreams. Sorry to bother you," he texted on March 16.

Another read, "Always nice to see you beautiful lady ... You have to find a way to say yes and come over and let me cook for you,” according to the news outlets. 

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In April, the colleague reportedly sent Clarkson a message asking him to respect their professional relationship. 

On Tuesday, the state Department of Law announced Clarkson's unpaid monthlong leave without any notice or explanation. Shortly after the reports from ProPublica and the Daily News were published, Clarkson resigned. 

"Kevin Clarkson has admitted to conduct in the workplace that did not live up to our high expectations, and this is deeply disappointing. This morning he took responsibility for the unintentional consequences of his actions and tendered his resignation to me. I have accepted it," Dunleavy said in a statement.

On Monday night, the former attorney general sent a statement to a blog called Must Read Alaska stating, "I wish to take public responsibility for errors of judgment that led directly, but unintentionally, to my placing a State employee in an uncomfortable environment in her workplace. This employee was not in the department of law, I was not her supervisor, and I did not supervise her; nevertheless, I should never have placed her in this uncomfortable situation. For this, I am truly sorry."

—Updated at 5:36 p.m.