State Rep. Dan Kirby To Resign Amid Harassment Allegations
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - Amid allegations of sexual harassment and questions over the settlement, State Representative Dan Kirby issued a resignation letter Friday night.
In it, Kirby says, “Recent events have caused a situation where my continuing in office would be such a distraction that I could not serve my constituents in the manner they deserve. I believe that a resignation is in the best interest of the district, House of Representatives and the state of Oklahoma.”
Kirby, 58, was accused by a former legislative assistant (LA), Hollie Bishop, 28, of sexually harassing her and then firing her after she refused his advances and reported them to Human Resources, according to a letter sent by Bishop’s lawyers to the House.
State records show she and her lawyers were paid $44,500 in two separate payments. One payment was marked “legal settlement” paid to the. The other payment, to her attorneys, was filed under “housekeeping” and cleaning supplies.
The new speaker-elect Charles McCall's (R-Atoka) office said Friday there was no cover-up that the payment marked as housekeeping was simply a clerical error in the coding of the Offices of Management and Enterprise Services system.
Oklahoma House of Representatives Democrats called for an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Kirby and settlement payments made by the state but did not call for his resignation.
Democrats also said they'll be pushing for increased transparency at the Capitol, putting lawmakers on notice a rule change may be in the works in the upcoming session.
Kirby's resignation is effective December 31.
According to the Board of Elections, a special election to fill the seat could cost up to $40,000.
You can read Kirby’s full letter below:
"Dear Speaker McCall
"Please accept my resignation as representative of District 75 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
"Recent events have caused a situation where my continuing in office would be such a distraction that I could not serve my constituents in the manner they deserve. I believe that a resignation is in the best interest of the district, the House of Representatives and the state of Oklahoma.
"I want to say what a privilege it has been to represent the people of District 75. I have always sought to do everything I can to serve the people of the district and the state in the best manner possible. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to serve in the house for these past 8 years. However it is now best for all concerned if I step aside."