Home Law Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite’s “inappropriate behavior” detailed in released document

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite’s “inappropriate behavior” detailed in released document

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Former Sen. Cliff Hite resigned after "inappropriate behavior." Photo via Ohio Senate.

After former Sen. Cliff Hite, R- Findlay, resigned from the Ohio Senate on Oct. 17, new information regarding his self-described “inappropriate behavior” has surfaced.

A recently released document acquired by Cleveland.com gives details about former Ohio State Sen. Cliff Hite’s resignation last month. Hite cited health concerns and “inappropriate behavior” as reasons for his resignation.  

“I’m not proud of recent inappropriate conversations that I had with a state employee who did not work for me but worked in a nearby state office,” Hite said in the statement.

“After we met, I sometimes asked her for hugs and talked with her in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, father, and grandfather like myself.”

After hearing this personal account, Cleveland.com acquired a memo from the Ohio State Legislative Service Commission (LSC) detailing an anonymous LSC employee’s encounters with Hite.

According to the memo, on their second encounter, Hite said “Nice outfit. It’s nice to see you. What was your name again?”

He then asked her to “look him up” on Facebook, which she ignored. On her next encounter with Hite, he asked again to look him up. She declined him again and said it was inappropriate for her to be friends with him on Facebook.

Around a week later, Hite came to the employee’s office in the Statehouse. Later that day, she would receive a friend request from him. She decided to accept this time because he was friends with other employees.

Hite then began contacting her on Facebook with messages like “Did you miss me?” She then blocked him.

Hite came into her office the next day and asked why she had blocked him. She said that it was inappropriate. After leaving and then coming back, Hite told the employee that he “couldn’t stop thinking about her” and that he needed a “f— buddy”, according to the memo.

Hite told her that he has had an affair in the past and that he had a condo where no one would ever know about the affair. Hite then continued trying to convince her to have sex with him for around an hour, saying he was “a grown man with needs”.  During this time, the employee estimated that she told him “no” eight to nine times.  

Some other phrases the employee says Hite said to her during this time are “You have no idea how much I can please you”, “You have no idea how good I’ll be” and “You know where to find me. You’ll change your mind”.

While Hite laughed during this exchange, the employee said she was was extremely nervous and uncomfortable at having a state senator in her office.

For the following months, Hite would continue to visit her office and ask her if she had changed her mind. He came in whenever he was in town, even on days when the legislature was not in-session. He continued to mention his condo.

Hite also hugged the employee and invited her to dinner and a reception. During this time, the employee was “unable to eat or sleep” due to the stress of the situation, according to the memo.

On Oct. 10, Hite came into her office again and asked her to go with him to a reception.  He hugged her and said that “she felt really good” before begging her to get together with him.  

He followed her as she went through a parking garage to a different building as a part of her job duties.  She “got away” from him when she met up with another employee, according to the memo.  

When she returned to the parking garage later, Hite was waiting for her in his convertible.  She told him “no” when he asked her to get in. As she walked through the garage back to the Statehouse, he followed alongside her in his car, asking if she liked it. She said that she liked his car, and also responded to a question from Hite about if this was offensive to her. She responded with “every minute”, according to the memo.

The next day, Hite came to her office with two bouquets of flowers. He left a bouquet with her that had a note attached from him. This note included Hite saying “If you liked my car you’ll like me too” and his office number.

In response to Cliff Hite’s resignation, the president of the State Senate Larry Obhof stated that all state senators would now require mandatory sexual harassment training.

In addition, three more state senators and one aide were revealed yesterday to have engaged in various types of harassment, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch.  

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