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Rep. McMillin resigns over possible sex video

Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 30, 2015

The second-highest ranking Republican in the Indiana House resigned suddenly Tuesday, saying he wanted to focus more on his family.

State Representative Judson McMillin, the Republican representative from Indiana's 68th district and House majority floor leader, released a written statement Tuesday announcing his resignation.

"The opportunity to serve the 68th district has been one of the greatest honors of my life," McMillin wrote. "However, after five years of dedicated service I have decided the time is right for me to pass the torch and spend more time with my family. I hope that the work I have done in Indianapolis and in Southeastern Indiana has made the state and the communities I represent a better place. Now I want to focus all of my attention on making my family's world a better place."

McMillin posted to his Facebook page Wednesday about the incident.

In part, the message said, "I make mistakes. When I do, regardless of how big or small they are, I do my best to admit them, own up to it, and then start doing my best to remedy them. That's what I'm doing right now with my family."

The announcement comes after a number of political observers, including IndyPolitics.org founder and Indianapolis This Week insider Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, reported receiving an unusual text from McMillin.

According to Shabazz, text read:  "My phone was stolen 24 hours ago in Canada. I have just been able to reactivate it under my control. Please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received."

Shabazz said some of the content on that phone was apparently enough to lead to McMillin's resignation.

"I talked to a number of sources," Shabazz said. "There were some graphic sexual videos apparently on the phone. That sort of led to the member's immediate and quick resignation."

McMillin was attending the National Conference of State Legislatures Symposium in Quebec City on official state business at the time he says he lost his phone. 

McMillin previously resigned as an assistant prosecutor in Ohio after becoming involved in a relationship with the victim in a domestic abuse case.

The woman later filed a lawsuit against him for legal malpractice, emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty. That lawsuit was ultimately withdrawn and the Ohio Bar Association found no ethical violations by McMillin.

McMillin was first elected in 2010, defeating longtime Democrat Rep. Robert Bischoff, who had held the position for more than 30 years. He twice won reelection, most recently in 2014, when he defeated Democratic challenger Rick Gill with 69.8 percent of the vote.

Indiana's 68th District includes all of Union County and portions of Franklin and Dearborn counties.

Earlier this year, McMillin authored HB 1609, the House version of a bill to remove the superintendent of public instruction as the chair of the State Board of Education. McMillin also previously authored bills to prohibit the state from doing business or providing grants to any organization, other than a hospital, that performs abortions, and to require people receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars to undergo random drug testing.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) released a statement following McMillin's announcement thanking him for his service.

“Our caucus is thankful for Representative McMillin’s service to our state, and we fully support his decision to step down in order to focus on his family,” said Bosma.

A source close to the Republican Caucus said Representative Matt Lehman, from Indiana's 79th district, has been discussed as a possible replacement for House majority floor leader. 

House Republicans will meet to elect a person for the job in the coming days.