Cliff, Diane Hite issue statements about Monday’s resignation

Former state Sen. Cliff Hite has issued a public statement concerning his resignation on Monday, admitting that he’d had inappropriate behavior with a state employee and citing additional health concerns among his reasons for resigning.

“I’m not proud of recent inappropriate conversations that I had with a state employee who did not work for me but worked in a nearby state office,” Cliff Hite wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “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.”

“Beyond those hugs, there was no inappropriate physical contact. I recognize that this was inappropriate behavior. She deserves more respect than that and so does my wife. I apologize completely. This is no one’s fault but my own. I’m proud of my long career as a teacher, coach, and legislator, but I’m not proud how I acted with this person.”

Hite also cited health issues as a reason for his resignation:

“As I’ve said previously, and in recent public statements, I’ve been seriously ill over the last year, have been hospitalized for several days, and I am now facing two different surgeries scheduled for next month. I just don’t have the strength to continue to travel back and forth from northwest Ohio to Columbus each week and make my way around such a large Senate district. The combination of my mistake in judgment and my failing health led me to decide to step down, so someone else can represent the good people of my district.”

Hite’s wife, Diane, also issued a statement concerning the inappropriate conduct.

“I love my husband and he’s a good man, but he made a mistake here,” she wrote. “He told me all about it, apologized to me, and I forgive him. We don’t have a perfect marriage, and, like so many couples, we’ve had some hard times in our relationship. We’re in counseling now and we’re hopeful that both our marriage and Cliff’s health will get better.”

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