OKC lawmaker to resign abruptly after 'acting inappropriately' at New Year's Eve event

·2 min read

An Oklahoma City lawmaker will resign Friday after saying he acted "inappropriately" at a New Year's Eve gathering.

Through a political consultant, freshman Rep. José Cruz, D-Oklahoma City, announced he will resign this week, effective 5 p.m. Friday, as first reported by online news outlet NonDoc.

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In a statement, Cruz, 31, did not give specifics of what occurred at the New Year's Eve gathering, but he said he regretted his actions.


"I started 2022 by exercising poor judgment and acting inappropriately during a gathering," Cruz said. "I deeply regret my conduct and that my actions made someone else uncomfortable. I’m upset with myself and embarrassed.

"My actions on New Year’s Eve did not reflect my values and beliefs. I consider myself a champion of women and have deep respect for my female colleagues and friends. However, my conduct that evening was inappropriate. I take full responsibility for my behavior and I apologize."

He called it a "great honor" to represent part of south Oklahoma City, and said he plans to take steps to right his wrongs and learn from this experience.

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Cruz, an attorney, was elected in 2020 to represent House District 89 in south Oklahoma City, a heavily Hispanic area that leans Democratic. He filled the seat vacated by former Democratic state Rep. Shane Stone, who resigned partway through his term.

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, said she was aware of Cruz's plan to resign.

"(We) have a plan in place to make sure services to the constituents of House District 89 are uninterrupted," she said in a statement. "I have no further comment at this time due to potential investigations related to this matter."

Cruz, who is married, was born in Mexico City and was the first Latino to represent the southside district.

State law does not allow for special elections when a legislator resigns in an even-numbered year. The House District 89 seat will go unfilled until someone can be elected for a full, two-year term through regularly scheduled elections this year.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OKC lawmaker José Cruz to resign after 'acting inappropriately'

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