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N.Y. Rep. Lee Resigns Over Craigslist Flap

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's the picture no one was supposed to recognize – a buff and toned New York Congressman Christopher Lee shirtless online.

He's now out of a job following his 5 p.m. resignation, which was read on the floor of the House.

"The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately," Lee said in an e-mailed statement.

The married, 46-year-old congressman from Buffalo stepped down for dressing down in a picture he apparently sent to a Craigslist women seeking men ad.

The website Gawker, posted what are believed to be email exchanges to the woman, where he allegedly calls himself "a very fit, fun, classy guy."

And later, when asked if he's divorced, he allegedly lies and says "yes, one child." The woman eventually broke off the contact with Lee after becoming suspicious that he had misrepresented himself, according to Gawker.

"It's just crazy. It's astounding," political strategist William O'Reilly told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.

O'Reilly, who's worked on a number of campaigns in New York, called Congressman Lee reckless.

"I mean here you have a sitting Congressman, who's posting pictures of himself, half-naked, his face, on a Washington website," O'Reilly said.

"You'd think he'd want to get caught. It was just, just a bizarre situation."

Lee's resignation came with a statement saying, "it's been a tremendous honor to serve the people of western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents.

"I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness."

"He did at least the right thing in stepping down. He didn't prolong it," O'Reilly said.

But when Dennis showed the congressman's personal picture on the streets of New York, not everyone was forgiving.

"I think that's pretty awful. I don't think an elected official should be posting anything on Craigslist," one person said.

"He should not have resigned. He should have taken responsibility for his actions, and apologized, and tried to do a better job, and just move on, move on," added Anthony Muhammad of Bridgeport, Conn.

"If it were my husband, I would be livid. I would be very angry," said Rachel Pearlman of Park Slope.

Tired of politicians in the news for all the wrong reasons? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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