ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks resigns effective immediately

Dec 8, 2017, 1:32 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat before the start of a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol...

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat before the start of a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Trent Franks has resigned effective immediately, one day after he announced he was resigning from Congress after he discussed surrogacy with at least two staffers.

In a statement, Franks said he made the decision to resign after his wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C. “due to an ongoing ailment.”

“After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today.”

The announcement came one day after the Arizona representative originally announced that he would resign at the end of January after he said he had surrogacy discussions with several staffers.

In a statement on Thursday, Franks said he decided to resign rather than face a “sensationalized trial by media” over the surrogacy discussions he had with the staffers.

“I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable,” he said.

Franks said he and his wife used a surrogate to give birth to the couple’s twins. They attempted to use another surrogate to have a third child but that woman had a miscarriage.

RELATED: Possible replacements | How Arizona special election will work

Despite the resignation, Franks said he “never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.”

But Politico reported Friday that the aides were “concerned that Franks was asking to have sexual relations with them.”

Franks also allegedly “tried to persuade a female aide that they were in love by having her read an article that described how a person knows they’re in love with someone.”

An aide for the Arizona representative also believed she was the subject of retribution after rebuffing Franks when he allegedly offered her $5 million to carry his child.

The former staffer said the congressman asked at least four times if she’d be willing to act as a surrogate in exchange for money. Franks, in his statement announcing his resignation, said he and his wife have struggled with infertility.

“During my time there, I was asked a few times to look over a `contract’ to carry his child, and if I would conceive his child, I would be given $5 million,” she said, adding that she refused to look over the contract and has never seen a copy.

It was announced later Thursday that House Speaker Paul Ryan told Franks to resign. According to a statement released by the office of the speaker, Ryan approached Franks after he was briefed about the allegations, which Franks did not deny.

The speaker informed Franks about his intent to present the allegations to the House Ethics Committee, the house speaker “told him that he should resign from Congress” due to the seriousness of the misconduct.

Now that Franks has resigned, a special primary election will first be held to determine each party’s nominee for his seat. After that, a special election will be held, according to Arizona law.

The winner of the overall special election will take Franks’ spot in Washington, D.C.

There was no immediate word on when those elections will be held, but Gov. Doug Ducey could make the announcement as soon as next week.

Interested candidates — several names have already been thrown out there — will have 30 days after Ducey announces the election date to submit their paperwork.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Twitter Photo/Doug Ducey)...
Danny Shapiro

Ducey says Biden administration ‘does not care’ about border safety as Yuma crossings surge

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey blasted the Biden administration Tuesday during a visit to the border in Yuma, where officials say crossings are surging.
17 hours ago
(Phoenix Fire Department photo)...
KTAR.com

Fire at Phoenix scrap yard sends smoke billowing for miles

A fire inside a Phoenix scrap yard Tuesday afternoon had smoke visible for miles.
17 hours ago
Jessica Wittner, left, and Christina Birch, right (NASA Photos)...
KTAR.com

2 UArizona graduates selected to be NASA astronaut recruits for future missions

Two University of Arizona graduates were selected from more than 12,000 applicants to be part of the next class of NASA astronaut recruits for future missions.
17 hours ago
(File photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix pauses COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees after federal court ruling

The city of Phoenix announced Tuesday it will pause the requirement that city employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 following a federal court ruling temporarily blocking a requirement for all federal contract workers to get the shot.
17 hours ago
An Arizona Department of Transportation worker puts the finishing touches on a Pearl Harbor Memoria...
KTAR.com

Pearl Harbor has been memorialized all across Arizona

Pearl Harbor is 3,000 miles from Arizona, but the naval base that came under attack 77 years ago has been memorialized all across the Grand Canyon State.
17 hours ago
A laboratory technician isolates COVID-19 samples at the Genview Diagnosis lab on August 13, 2021 i...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix-area health official on omicron: ‘It’s probably already here’

A high-ranking metro Phoenix health official said that while the omicron variant of COVID-19 hasn’t yet been confirmed in Arizona, “it’s probably already here.”
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Arizona Rep. Trent Franks resigns effective immediately