BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana’s secretary of state is leaving his elected position as calls for his resignation have increased amid allegations that the state elections chief sexually harassed one of his employees.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down May 8 from the position he’s held since 2010. He becomes the highest-level public official in Louisiana to be felled by sexual misconduct accusations since the #MeToo movement began.
The Republican previously announced plans to stay until his term ended in January 2020, despite a pending sexual harassment lawsuit against him by an employee.
But the drumbeat for Schedler’s resignation grew louder after the release of sexually themed emails Schedler had sent the woman who sued him.
A special election will fill the remainder of Schedler’s term.
Governor John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on Schedler’s regisnation:
Given the serious nature of the allegations, in February, I called on Secretary of State Tom Schedler to resign. In light of the additional information that has been disclosed, I believe this is the best course of action for Tom, his family, and the state of Louisiana.
Here’s Schedler’s resignation letter: