Calif. GOP Lawmaker Quits Over Taped Sex Comments
Married California GOP lawmaker resigns after being caught on videotape bragging about affairs
By JULIET WILLIAMS
The Associated Press
A Republican state lawmaker from Southern California resigned Wednesday amid growing outrage over a videotape that caught him bragging in graphic detail about having sex with a female lobbyist and another woman.
Assemblyman Mike Duvall, whose votes on family oriented legislation received high marks from conservative groups, said in a statement the furor over his comments had begun to divert attention from the work his fellow lawmakers were trying to finish during the final week of their session.
Duvall is married and has two adult children.
In a recording of a legislative hearing, Duvall can be heard talking about a recent sexual escapade with a woman he says is 18 years younger.
"I'm getting into spanking her," Duvall is heard to say on the videotape.
The other man asks if she likes it, too. Duvall responds: "She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah, that's 'cause you're such a bad girl.'"
The conversation was first reported by KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and the newspaper OC Weekly. The Associated Press later obtained a copy of the videotaped hearing.
Duvall, an Orange County lawmaker, said it would not be fair to his family, constituents or friends to remain in office.
"I am deeply saddened that my inappropriate comments have become a major distraction for my colleagues in the Assembly, who are working hard on the very serious problems facing our state," he said. "Therefore, I have decided to resign my office, effective immediately, so that the Assembly can get back to work."
The 54-year-old lawmaker made the comments about the affairs to another lawmaker during a break in a committee meeting at the Capitol on July 8, apparently unaware that the microphone at the desk was turned on.
Duvall also discusses the woman's "eye-patch underwear" and the age difference between himself and the lobbyist, who is not named on the videotape. He tells the other lawmaker, whose identity was not immediately clear, that the woman's birthday was two days before the committee hearing.
Duvall said he joked with the lobbyist that she was getting old after turning 36 and told her, "I am going to have to trade you in."
The lawmaker then brags about an affair he is having with another woman.
"Oh, she is hot! I talked to her yesterday. She goes, 'So are we finished?' I go, 'No, we're not finished.' I go, 'You know about the other one, but she doesn't know about you!'" Duvall can be heard saying in an apparent reference to his affair with the lobbyist.
Duvall received a 100 percent rating from Capitol Resource Institute, a conservative advocacy group, for his votes on legislation considered pro-family during the 2007-08 legislative session.
The group's executive director, Karen England, said the scorecard is based strictly on lawmakers' voting records, not their personal conduct, and that Duvall consistently voted in favor of legislation the group considered pro-family.
"It's unfortunate that he wasn't living it out," she said.
According to the Assembly's Web site, Duvall also was awarded Chapman University's Ethics in America Award in 2000 for his "demonstration of the highest standards of ethical integrity" as a member of the Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce.
Before resigning, Duvall apologized for the comments on his campaign Web site and said he made a mistake.
"I deeply regret the comments I made in what I believed to be a private conversation," he said. "This is a private matter and I ask that everyone respect the privacy of all involved."
Duvall's Assembly office was locked Wednesday, and a telephone number listed for a Michael and Susan Duvall in Yorba Linda was disconnected.
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, asked the Assembly Ethics Committee to investigate. She called it "a very sad day" and said Duvall was well-liked.
"I did speak with him and he was extremely remorseful and regretful," Bass told reporters during a news conference called to address Duvall's resignation. "We have such big issues before the Legislature and to have this become a distraction, he felt his responsibility was to step aside."
Assembly Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, also had asked Duvall to step down as a member of the Republican caucus leadership before he resigned Wednesday.
"Mr. Duvall recognized his inappropriate comments would be an endless source of distraction for this institution, and out of respect for his colleagues and love for his family decided to resign," Blakeslee said in a statement. "I respect his decision to put his family first during this difficult time."
Several media outlets reported the lobbyist Duvall refers to in his comments works for Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based energy services company that operates San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Gas Co. Sempra issued an e-mail statement saying it was investigating the claims.
"The employee has denied the speculative media reports. Our investigation will be conducted to ensure not only that our policies on employee conduct are strictly adhered to, but also that our employee is treated fairly," the company said.
Duvall was elected in 2006 to represent an Orange County district that includes Fullerton, Anaheim, Placentia, Orange, Brea and Yorba Linda. Before that, he served six years on the Yorba Linda City Council. He also owns an insurance agency.
The lawmaker was vice chairman of the utilities committee, which had been considering one of the more hotly contested bills in the current legislative session. The bill, which is still being debated, would require utilities to generate 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020.
Many utilities oppose it.
On July 6, Duvall was one of five Republicans to vote against the legislation, which is sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto.
Associated Press Writers Samantha Young and Tom Verdin contributed to this report.
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