Sen. Paul LeVota has decided to resign from the Missouri legislature, and rightly so.
Recently revelations leave little doubt that the Independence Democrat made sexual overtures toward at least two college interns assigned to his office.
On Friday evening, LeVota blamed “media attention” for distracting him from doing the people’s work.
In reality, LeVota had lost his credibility to continue in office.
LeVota had denied allegations by a University of Central Missouri student who abruptly left her internship this year. But a new report authorized by the university appeared to corroborate a key piece of ex-intern Alissa Hembree’s account — that she stayed overnight at LeVota’s Jefferson City residence rather than drive home after having a few alcoholic beverages.
Hembree said he proposed that they sleep together, but she slept alone on his sofa.
A married lawmaker should not be alone after hours with a college intern, much less invite her for an overnight stay. To lie about it reveals a flawed character.
A second former intern produced text messages showing LeVota also made overtures toward her when she interned for him a few years ago. Both interns said they were isolated and cut out of good assignments once they turned down the senator.
LeVota, a longtime legislator, worked passionately on behalf of some worthy issues. But other Democratic senators rebuffed his bid for a leadership post this year, and these disclosures recent revelations turned him into a sideshow.
LeVota had already been removed from the Senate Ethics Committee, which would have the job of investigating the allegations against him.
His Facebook post Friday evening was accurate on this point: By remaining in office, he could not have been “as effective as my constituents deserve.”
LeVota’s resignation, effective Aug. 23, should help residents of east Kansas City, Independence, Raytown and Sugar Creek get the representation they deserve, from a senator of better repute.