SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – A Kansas City-area lawmaker accused of sexually and physically abusing his children when they were younger tendered his resignation Tuesday as an investigation into his behavior was nearing completion.
Rep. Rick Roeber, R-Lee’s Summit, did not mention the allegations against him or an ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee in a letter to the House Clerk. Instead, he said he was leaving because he and his fiancee were preparing to leave the state to be closer to their extended family, including his ailing mother.
Roeber, who was elected to a two-year term in November, said he never wanted to serve a one-year sentence to pass a bill naming a highway in honor of his late wife, Rep. Rebecca Roeber, who passed away in 2019, and help succeed in school. choice bills.
He said that because both things seem to be going well, he has done what he planned to do and can now go.
In reality, none of his priorities have received final approval from both houses, and a bill that would honor his late wife has yet to pass in the House.
Allegations against Roeber
Roeber’s announcement also came as fellow lawmakers investigating the allegations against him appeared poised to release damaging findings.
For months, he has denied claims that he made sexual advances to his adopted daughter when he was 9 and physically abused his son, as reported by the Kansas City Star, who interviewed his ex-wife. and their three children.
After Republicans barred him from attending their caucus meetings in December, he said he was considering a reversal “once these allegations are dismissed by the ethics committee.”
After: Children of Missouri elected official say he abused them
But last week, GOP leaders, including the ethics committee chairman, told the Jackson County prosecutor they had “information that needs to be passed on to the proper authorities in your jurisdiction,” according to a report. of the Missouri Independent.
They also expressed concerns for the safety of a minor who regularly interacts with Roeber.
House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, and Ethics Committee Chairman Travis Fitzwater of the R-Holt summit shared similar thoughts in a statement after Roeber announced his resignation on Tuesday.
In particular, they said the ethics committee found her children’s allegations to be credible. Vescovo and Fitzwater also called Roeber “unfit for the job” and called for a “full investigation by law enforcement.”
“His resignation allows him to step down from his duties as a representative, but we cannot allow him to withdraw again from the children of whom he was a victim,” they added.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade D-Springfield also praised Roeber’s departure.
“With his own children accusing him of physical and sexual abuse, Rick Roeber should never have sought public office,” she said in a statement. “After forcing her children to relive their experiences, her resignation as a state representative is late.”
Other controversies from Missouri lawmakers
Roeber wasn’t the only hot water rep this session.
In January, the GOP-led House voted to publicly shame Rep. Wiley Price, D-St. Louis, following accusations, he lied to the ethics committee while investigating whether or not he was sleeping with a 23-year-old intern.
Price and the intern denied ever having sex and Price said he had no plans to quit politics.
A month later, federal authorities unveiled a 20-count indictment against Representative Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, accusing her of selling a bogus stem cell treatment, illegally distributing drugs. order and lying to federal agents while they investigated her.
Republican leaders also called on her to resign, but she refused. She has since drawn new charges, accusing her of defrauding Greene County of about $ 300,000 in federal pandemic relief funds. His trial is scheduled for August.
Austin Huguelet is the political reporter for the News-Leader. Do you have something he should know? Have a question? Call him at 417-403-8096 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Missiouri lawmaker Rick Roeber resigns amid child abuse allegations