April 07, 2014, 05:02 pm
Married GOP congressman admits to kissing female staffer
By Mario Trujillo
Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) asked for forgiveness Monday afternoon after a video purporting to show the congressman kissing a female staffer in his congressional office in Louisiana surfaced.
McAllister, who was just elected in a November special election, has been married for 16 years and has five children.
"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness. I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve," he said in a statement issued from his office. "Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you're a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed."
He said he was "very sorry" and did not want to make a political statement about the video's release.
"From day one, I've always tried to be an honest man," he said. "I ran for Congress to make a difference and not to just be another politician. I don't want to make a political statement on this, I would just simply like to say that I'm very sorry for what I've done. While I realize I serve the public, I would appreciate the privacy given to my children as we get through this."
The video, published by The Ouachita Citizen, shows grainy security camera footage of a man and a woman appearing to embrace in a dark office before walking out of a building together.
The news outlet identified the two people in the video as McAllister and his district scheduler, Melissa A. Peacock, on Dec. 23, 2013 — a month after the congressman was first sworn into office. The newspaper said it obtained the video from an anonymous source.
Records show Peacock was a part-time staffer at the time.
McAllister won a special election in Louisiana's 5th Congressional District last November to replace Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), who stepped down to take a job in Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration.
He won an upset victory over state Sen. Neil Riser, who had received a number of high-profile GOP endorsements, by 20 points. McAllister won the endorsement of "Duck Dynasty's" Willie Robertson, who was featured in television ads ahead of the election. The Louisiana congressman invited the reality star to the State of the Union earlier this year.
McAllister cited his faith, family and hard work during ads run during the campaign last year. His wife and kids were featured prominently in the ads as well.
"I'm Vance McAllister, business owner, family man and proud son of this community," he said in one of his ads.