Weeks after a sex scandal involving Republican Representative Phil Hinkle went public, House Speaker Brian Bosma publicly called on Hinkle to resign.
"I think the opportunity for Phil to serve as an effective member of the General Assembly has expired," Bosma said.
Representative Hinkle responded Tuesday with a written statement, saying he had no intention of resigning. He would, instead, serve out the rest of his term and not seek reelection in 2012. A decision he said he and his family had already made.
Hinkle also said he is seeking help following the incident that started the public scandal.
"While I must admit to mistakes of judgment, I am seeking professional help on what turned me down a road of self destruction," Hinkle's statement said.
The scandal erupted when 18-year old Kameryn Gibson released several emails to the media, indicating that Representative Hinkle had arranged to meet Gibson at the downtown JW Marriott to exchange sex for money.
While Hinkle has not been charged with any crime, and is not currently under investigation, Bosma said he feels that elected public officials should be held to a higher standard. Bosma does not think Hinkle should serve the rest of his term, which would mean working through one more legislative session.
"It's a problem for Phil to continue as a leader in the legislature," Bosma said. "It would be very difficult for him to represent well the folks that he was elected to represent."
However, Bosma cannot force Hinkle to resign. Instead, Bosma said he is already in the process of removing Hinkle from his leadership positions. Specifically, Hinkle will be removed as the chair of the Local Government Committee and the chair of a summer Interim Study Committee.
If Hinkle were to change his mind, a caucus of Republican Precinct Committee members would choose a replacement to serve out the remainder of his term.