Cross Coburn, a 19-year-old gay man who was elected as a councilman in Groves, Texas last year, was voted out of office this month after being catfished and blackmailed with his nude Grindr photos. A recall election took place on November 6th, and 62% of Groves citizens removed Coburn from office.
In 2017, Coburn ran unopposed for the council seat but in early 2018 Groves’ City Hall received an anonymous package full of nude photos of him that had sent to someone on the gay sex app Grindr, the photo were also sent to local news channels. The “scandal” resulted in a petition to have Coburn removed from office, claiming he couldn’t live up to the city’s high “moral standards.”
Coburn states that he was he was set up and blackmailed and that many signatures on the petition to remove him were forged. He also claims that Groves Mayor Brad Bailey and Councilman Kyle Hollier were behind the recall vote that claimed his job. When asked about the photo scandal in September, Bailey said that he believes public servants should be “held to a higher position”.
Texas Monthly suggested that Coburn was a victim of catfishing in an effort to remove him from office, as the photos were sent to local media after the city attorney mentioned in an internal email that only the citizens could remove Coburn in a recall election.
Coburn is now challenging the recall and has filed a complaint in the District Court of Jefferson County, claiming that the petition to remove him was was forged. He’s also asked the state attorney to investigate.
Via the Chicago Tribune:
An Illinois House Republican lawmaker who had been appointed to the General Assembly’s sexual harassment task force resigned Wednesday following his ex-girlfriend’s allegations of improper sexual activity online, House GOP Leader Jim Durkin said.
State Rep. Nick Sauer, of Lake Barrington, was accused by an ex-girlfriend of sending nude photos of her to other men online, according to a report from Politico published Wednesday. The ex-girlfriend has filed a complaint about the matter with the Chicago Police Department and the Office of the Legislative Inspector General, Politico reported.
In a resignation letter, Sauer wrote that he decided to resign “as a result of the allegations” by “a former girlfriend.” “After speaking with my family, I feel it best to step away from my public responsibilities,” the letter reads.
It was Sauer’s ex-girlfriend Kate Kelly who filed a with the Office of the Legislative Inspector General, accusing the lawmaker of creating a fake Instagram account and sending nude photos of her to “lure them into graphic discussions of a sexual nature.”
In a letter to the Clerk of the House, Sauer acknowledged the allegation.
“My ability to fulfill my obligations as a state representative and public servant will be affected by the distraction of addressing these allegations,” Sauer said in the statement. “After speaking with my family, I feel it is best to step away from my public responsibilities.”
Ironically, Sauer was a first term republican lawmaker from Lake Barrington, and was a member of the House Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force.