Paul LeVota announces resignation amidst intern harassment claims

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JEFFERSON CITY - State Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, announced his resignation Friday night on social media. 

LeVota released the following statement on Facebook and said his resignation will be effective August 23. 

To My Friends:

My conduct has been called into question relating to the intern program in the Missouri Senate and even though there has been no proof of any wrongdoing, the media attention is a distraction to doing the people's work.
As I stated before, I did not engage in harassment of any intern in the Missouri Senate and an investigation found no proof of misconduct. However, I will not put my family, myself, or the senate through the process of dealing with the veracity of false allegations and character assassination against me.
In my entire time as a public official, I have focused on issues to help people like expanding health insurance, raising the minimum wage, and equal pay for all. If anything distracts from my ability to do that work for Missouri, I cannot be as effective as my constituents deserve. With the continuing focus of other issues, I find it difficult to be the best senator that the people elected me to be.
Today, I have tendered my resignation from the Missouri Senate to Senator Tom Dempsey effective August 23, 2015. It is important to finalize all issues in my office and to allow the governor the ability to immediately call for a special election to fill my seat.
It is doubly important as House District 29 is still vacant and needs to be filled. It is imperative that the people of the 11th Senatorial District and the 29th House District have representation in Jefferson City immediately.
I want to thank all of my supporters over my years in public service and I look forward to joining the ranks as a private individual and contribute to my community in that way.

LeVota's resignation came after Senate Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, and Minority Floor Leader Sen. Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, agreed Thursday to remove LeVota from the Senate Rules and Ethics committee.

Sen. Paul LeVota denied two claims he made sexual advances at an intern in his office, following the release of an independent investigator's report Wednesday.