JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, a Republican from the St. Louis suburb of Town and Country, said Thursday that he is resigning from both his leadership position and legislative office after acknowledging exchanging sexually suggestive text messages with a Capitol intern. It’s not the first time the position has been vacant or that a speaker has faced controversy.
Here’s a look at some of the more recent speakers who found themselves in trouble, resigned, died or otherwise left the position.
STEVE TILLEY, 2012
Tilley, a Republican from Perryville, resigned from the House’s top position in August 2012 to work as a paid lobbyist. Because he was term-limited, his tenure would have ended anyway in January 2013. Tilley was present in the speaker’s office Thursday as Diehl announced his resignation to reporters.
ROD JETTON, 2009
Jetton, a Republican from Marble Hill, ended his term in office in January 2009 while under federal investigation on a bribery allegation. He testified before a grand jury in 2010 but never was indicted in that case. In 2011, Jetton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault while admitting that he hit and choked a woman during a sexual encounter in November 2009. He later wrote a book chronicling his downfall, entitled “Success Can Kill You.”
BOB GRIFFIN, 1996
Griffin, a Democrat from Cameron, served a record 15 years as House speaker before resigning in January 1996 in the midst of federal and state investigations into his dealings. He later pleaded guilty to federal charges and served most of a four-year sentence for bribery and mail fraud before President Bill Clinton commuted his sentence in December 2000.
LESTER A. VONDERSCHMIDT, 1954
Vonderschmidt, a Republican from Mound City, died suddenly just days before a 1954 special legislative session ended. He was resting during an afternoon break in the session when he died of a heart attack at age 50.
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