Westlake resigns from office

Dean Westlake in happier days

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) An embattled Alaska state lawmaker accused of inappropriate behavior by multiple women has tendered his letter of resignation to the House Speaker.

A staff member for Rep. Dean Westlake hand delivered the resignation letter this morning, just three days after he had rejected calls from House and party leaders to step down.

Inappropriate comments and touching were at the heart of the complaints against Westlake.  Two of the alleged incidents took place in public here in Juneau. 

In the letter, Westalke thanked the women who came forward and apologized to them, "As recent allegations of my behavior have superseded discussions about my constituents, my ability to serve them has been diminished.  The conversation about my behavior has elevated above the needs of my district, and that is not why I ran for office."

Under state law, the resignation takes effect in 10 days because it did not include a date on the letter.  Governor Bill Walker would then have 30 days to appoint a successor, just about in time to start the next legislative session.  The replacement must be a Democrat.

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