State Sen. Bill Kintner, who has battled criticism of his behavior ever since he was caught in a cybersex scandal last year, has bowed to pressure and resigned from the Unicameral.
Kintner announced he had handed his resignation letter to Speaker Jim Scheer this morning.
“As much as my heart says to fight, my head says it’s time to step away from the Legislature,” Kintner told reporters gathered at a Capitol news conference.
Kintner said he had wrestled with the decision on whether to “step down or to stay here and continue to fight the important policy battles for the taxpayers, the many emails, texts and phone calls I have received asking me not to resign have been overwhelming and humbling.”
Kintner said his resignation would become effective at 12:01am January 30th.
“I hesitate to resign as I know that my resignation will be hailed as a victory to the progressive liberal movement, but this is not about justice or doing what’s right,” according to Kintner. “This is the old adage that might makes right. If you have the votes you can do what you want.”
Legislative leaders, even Gov. Pete Ricketts, called on Kintner to resign last year after he confessed to using a state-owned laptop computer to engage in cybersex during a business trip to Boston in 2015.
The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission fined Kintner $1,000 for misuse of state property. The Executive Board of the Unicameral called on him to resign. Kintner paid the fine, but refused to resign.
Calls for his resignation intensified this week after Kintner, over the weekend, retweeted a Tweet that mocked participants in the Women’s March in Washington, seeming to make light of the issue of sexual assault.
A number of state senators, some fellow conservative Republicans, took to the floor of the Legislature Tuesday to call on Kintner to resign. A resolution to expel Kintner had been drafted. If Kintner had refused to resign, the Unicameral was prepared to vote to kick him out.
Kintner grew emotional at times during the news conference, especially when he talked about his wife Lauren, but in the end, he left defiant.
“To paraphrase Richard Nixon, you won’t have Bill Kintner to kick around anymore.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]
AUDIO: Sen. Bill Kintner holds news conference to announce resignation from the Unicameral. [5 min.]