The Ohio Republican legislator who
abruptly resigned last week amid allegations he had sex with another
man in his office led a secret gay life, people who knew him have
Wes Goodman, 33, was elected to
represent the people of the 87th district in 2016.
He quit abruptly from the Ohio House
after House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, a Republican from Clarksville,
was made aware of the incident. After meeting with Goodman,
Rosenberger said in a statement that Goodman had “acknowledged and
confirmed the allegations,” which Rosenberger described as
“inappropriate behavior related to [Goodman's] state office.”
While working in Washington for
conservative U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio,
Goodman worked on legislation introduced by Jordan that sought to
overturn D.C.'s law that recognized the legal marriages of gay and
lesbian couples performed outside the district.
Before being elected to the Ohio House,
Goodman worked for the Conservative Action Project (CAP), a group
founded in 2008 that promotes constitutional conservatism. On its
website, the group says that constitutional conservatism “informs
conservatism's firm defense of family, neighborhood, community and
The Washington Post and
Cleveland.com spoke to people who said that Goodman led a double life
while working in Washington.
“In private, he exchanged salacious
texts and emails with gay men he met on Capitol Hill, and sent
sexually suggestive messages to young men he met through conservative
circles who were too intimidated to publicly complain,”
One of the people told Cleveland.com
that Goodman sent “inappropriate material” and propositioned
younger men via text message and Facebook messenger.
“It was suggestive 'I am here in my
underwear' kinds of stuff,” a former co-worker who shared some of
the messages said.
on Friday published a 2015 hotel incident that involved the
18-year-old son of a Republican donor. The young man allegedly ran
from the room when he woke up in the middle of the night to find
Goodman fondling him.
After the college student told his
parents, Goodman was fired from his position at the conservative
Council for National Policy, which is headed by Family Research
Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins, an influential conservative
strongly opposed to LGBT rights.
also spoke to a former GOP congressional staffer who claimed that
Goodman was “all over Craigslist” searching for sex with other
men. Chris Donnelly said that he had a sexual encounter with Goodman
“It became a running joke between me
and my gay friends on Capitol Hill,” Donnelly said. “It's not
like it was some one-off thing.”
In a statement, the married Goodman
expressed regret for his actions and asked for privacy.
"We all bring our own struggles
and our own trials into public life. That has been true for me, and I
sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from
serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best
ideals of public service," he said. "For those whom I have
let down, I’m sorry. As I move onto the next chapter of my life, I
sincerely ask for privacy for myself, my family, and my friends.”