State rep. replaces hugging Ohio senator who resigned

COLUMBUS (AP/WCMH) — A state representative from Napoleon has assumed the seat of an Ohio senator who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Robert McColley

Republican state Rep. Robert McColley was sworn in Tuesday to replace former GOP Sen. Clifford Hite.

The 63-year-old Hite resigned Oct. 16 without explanation. He later issued a statement on Twitter apologizing for engaging in inappropriate conversations and physical contact with a female state employee, noting that he “sometimes asked her for hugs and talked with her in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, father, and grandfather.”

A memo on the woman’s complaint said Hite repeatedly propositioned her for sex and she missed work due to discomfort.

McColley served two Ohio House terms and had been this session’s assistant majority whip.

GOP Senate President Larry Obhof said McColley has “the character and experience to represent the people of northwestern Ohio.” He called McColley committed and energetic.

McColley’s Senate appointment was unanimous.

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