Ohio lawmaker Cliff Hite pressed staffer for sex, investigation found

0

Ohio lawmaker Cliff Hite pressed staffer for sex, investigation found

View CaptionHide Caption
Former Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay.

Findlay Republican Cliff Hite resigned earlier this month from the state senate after being accused of sexually harassing a Legislative Service Commission employee, according to commission investigatory records obtained by this newspaper.

The female staffer claims she refused Hite’s repeated advances but he told her he could not stop thinking about her and needed a “f—k buddy,” the investigation report states.

The staffer told investigators that Hite said he had an affair before and had a condo so no one would ever know, the report states. Hite allegedly said he was “a grown man with needs” and needed oral sex, the investigation report states.

Hite, in a formal response to the commission about the complaint, said he disagreed with many of its representations, which he said were misunderstood or portrayed inaccurately.

“I did not understand or believe that my comments and actions were offensive to the complainant, and it is now deeply troubling to read that she felt otherwise, said Hite, who noted that he is a married man, father and grandfather.

On Oct. 11, the female staffer reported a sexual harassment complaint to her supervisors against Hite.

Hite first started talking to her in August in the statehouse parking garage, the report states.

During a second meeting in the garage, Hite allegedly complimented her outfit. The staffer added Hite on Facebook after he sent her a friend request, but she later blocked him, saying that his messages were inappropriate, the report states.

The staffer said Hite made crude comments to her and she told him no eight or more times during the conversation.

The woman also said Hite had told her “you have no idea how much I can please you,” and “you have no idea how good I’ll be,” the report states.

Hite allegedly stopped by the staffer’s office multiple times throughout August and September to check in to see if she would change her mind about sexual relations, the report states. Hite allegedly invited her to his condo and physically hugged her.

The staffer met and shared her encounters with Hite with human resources staff but did not want them to take action.

Hite allegedly continued to come to her office and promsied to please her and that no one would find out and that he would stay married and she would stay engaged, the report states.

On Oct. 10, Hite allegedly hugged the staffer and was “nose to nose begging her to get together with him,” the report states. The following day, Hite sent her flowers and then propositioned her again.

Hite resigned Oct. 16. He acknowledged in a public statement that he had

Hite, who resigned Monday, acknowledged in a statement Wednesday that he had “inappropriate conversations” with a female state worker.

“After we met, I sometimes asked her for hugs and talked with her in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, father, and grandfather like myself,” Hite wrote. “Beyond those hugs, there was no inappropriate physical conduct. I recognized that this was inappropriate behavior. She deserves more respect than that and so does my wife.”

View Comments 0

Weather and Traffic