Rep. David Wu (D-OR) on Election Day, 2010.
Rep. David Wu (D-OR) on Election Day, 2010. Rick Bowmer/AP
Rep. David Wu, the first Chinese-American to serve in the House, announced Tuesday that he will resign, ending what seemed to be headed toward becoming another embarrassing congressional sex scandal.
The Oregon Democrat faced a House ethics investigation after allegations surfaced that he had what is being widely described as an "unwanted sexual encounter" with a teenager. The young person was the daughter of Wu's childhood friend.
The Oregonian reported:
Washington — Rep. David Wu announced his resignation from Congress today, moments after U.S. senators Jeff Merkely and Ron Wyden called for his resignation.
The Democrat said in a statement that he would leave office after Congress resolves the debt ceiling crisis.
"With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt ceiling crisis. This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House, and my colleagues."
After news of that situation became public over the weekend, Wu, 56, indicated Sunday that he would retire at the end of his term.
But that was unacceptable to the House Democratic leadership. On Monday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader, called for the ethics panel to review the matter.
Wu had previously come under scrutiny for bizarre behavior. Before the November election, he raised eyebrows when he sent emails to his staffers in which he pretended to be his children. One of the emails contained a photo of Wu in a tiger costume.
His behavior was so strange that members of his staff tried to do an intervention, seeking bedspace for the congressman.
Wu's resignation comes shortly after another House Democrat, Anthony Weiner, was forced to resign after the public learned that the married congressman had sent through Twitter sexually suggestive pictures of himself and messages to several women.
Wu's current difficulties would have certainly gotten much more attention if it hadn't been for the debt-ceiling crisis.