Sex-case Senator resigns his seat
Friday 08 September 1995
Senator Bob Packwood last night bowed to the inevitable and resigned, thus sparing the institution which the Oregon Republican has served for 27 years at best a bruising floor vote on whether to expel him, at worst potentially devastating public hearings into the allegations of sexual and official misconduct against him.
He announced his decision on the Senate floor. "It is my duty, the honourable thing to do for the country, for the Senate," he said, almost in tears. "I will resign and leave this institution, not with malice but with love.''
Thus ends the saga of a career destroyed by disclosures of sexual harassment of two dozen women - many his campaign and office employees - stretching back to the 1960s. Mr Packwood's fate was sealed by his hapless efforts to stage a cover-up, doctoring sections of his private diaries in an attempt to conceal the truth.
The affair proper began in 1992, after his re-election to a fifth term, as allegations had already circulated of his sexual misbehaviour. For almost three years his case meandered through the Senate. But Mr Packwood's evasions and manoeuvrings finally wore out the patience of his colleagues. This summer the Senate voted 52-48 not to hold secret hearings. Then, after two more women came forward with claims of harassment, he demanded public hearings "to confront my accusers head-on''.
The Senate Ethics Committee, which previously had split 3-3 on party lines, voted unanimously to expel Mr Packwood - the most severe sanction it can impose. Not since the Civil War has a senator been forcibly evicted. Yesterday the ranking Republican and Democrat alike on the committee denounced Mr Packwood in astonishingly harsh terms. He was guilty of "habitual, blatantly aggressive sexual advances" said Mitch McConnell, a fellow Republican and chairman of the ethics panel. Earlier Mr Packwood had denounced the vote to expel him as "outrageous" but after Mr McConnell's words he plainly realised he had no chance.
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...