Lawmakers want Diehl's resignation, investigation into misconduct
JEFFERSON CITY - Following an article published in the the Kansas City Star Wednesday about allegations of misconduct between Missouri Speaker of the House John Diehl and a freshman intern, one lawmaker is calling for the resignation of Diehl and full investigation into the allegations.
"I am calling for the speaker to step aside pending an investigation into the allegations of improper conduct with a freshman intern," Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis.
According to the Star's article, texts messages obtained by the paper reveal a sexually charged relationship between Diehl and the college freshman in a Missouri Capitol internship program, which was shut down last month.
According to a statement provided to KOMU 8 by Missouri Southern State University, the university was made aware about issues regarding their legislative internship program.
"We made a decision to reassign the interns to other responsibilities for the duration of the semester," the statement reads. "Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we cannot release additional information about these issues."
Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, said she was disgusted when she read the article Wednesday morning.
"I personally think he should resign," Newman said. "As a mom of a college student, I want to be able to trust that internship programs here are completely above board."
Following the allegations, Diehl released a statement through his office saying, "I take full responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry to those I let down. I apologize for the poor judgment I displayed that put me and those closest to me in this situation."
He goes on to say, "I also regret that the woman has been dragged into this situation. The buck stops here. I ask for forgiveness. I will begin immediately working to restore the trust of those closest to me, and getting back to the important work that is required in the final days of session."