Sec. of State Tom Schedler sends resignation letter to governor amid sexual harassment lawsuit

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler has sent his resignation letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Schedler announced his resignation is effective Tuesday, May 8, 2018. The letter is attached to the bottom of this story.

Schedler's resignation comes amid a sexual harassment lawsuit he is facing. A woman accused him of punishing her when she challenged him at work. A spokeswoman for the office, on the other hand, said the sexual relationship was consensual.

Gov. Edwards released the following statement:

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.

Sexual emails were released from Schedler to a former employee, through his state account. The emails were published by The Advocate and show Schedler crossing the line and abusing his position, according to Kennedy.

In March, Schedler announced he would not seek re-election in 2019. Schedler's current term ends on January 13, 2020. At the time, he said after taking a couple of weeks of personal time with his family, he made the decision to not run for office again next year. He also said he plans to fight the allegations against him.

According to Article IV, Section 16 of the Louisiana Constitution, if the unexpired terms of a statewide elected official exceeds one year, the First Assistant Secretary of State (Kyle Ardoin) fills the unexpired term of office. The Governor calls a special election to fill the vacancy at the next regularly scheduled congressional or statewide election. The next available dates are the Mid-Term Congressional Elections scheduled for November 6, 2018 and December 8, 2018.

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