Illinois lawmaker accused of releasing nude photos of ex-girlfriend resigns

 In Politics

Illinois’ capitol building is pictured. | AP Photo

The Illinois Capitol is pictured. | Seth Perlman/AP Photo

Updated


CHICAGO — Illinois state Rep. Nick Sauer resigned Wednesday after a former girlfriend filed an official complaint accusing the first-term Republican of creating a fake Instagram account and populating it with nude photos of her to lure men into “graphic” discussions.

“As a result of the allegations by Kate Kelly, a former girlfriend, I have decided to resign,” Sauer wrote in a letter to the Clerk of the House of Representatives. “It is important that the citizens of the 51st District be fully represented. My ability to fulfill my obligations as a State Representative and public servant will be affected by the distraction of addressing these allegations. After speaking with my family, I feel it best to step away from my public responsibilities.”

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Sauer submitted his resignation just hours after POLITICO reported about a complaint filed by Kelly, an ex-girlfriend, with the Office of the Legislative Inspector General. In that document, Kelly alleged Sauer used the Instagram account “to catfish other men using my privately shared naked photos. Nick would use this account to direct message men with my photos to engage in graphic conversations of a sexual nature. The men believed they were communicating with me and Nick shared private details of my life.”

In her complaint, Kelly states that she filed a police report with the Chicago Police Department and that there is “an active investigation” into her claims. CPD has not yet complied with POLITICO’s Freedom of Information Act request for the police report.

Sauer, who had been seeking re-election to a second term, declined to comment for the original story.

Julie Porter, the acting Legislative Inspector General, neither confirmed nor denied that her office was investigating Kelly’s claim. “I do not comment on issues relating to investigations, including whether or not a matter has been presented to me or is open,” she said via email.

Top GOP lawmakers condemned the alleged behavior.

State House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, in a statement emailed to POLITICO, called them “troubling,” adding, “We should allow the proper authorities to conduct their investigations.”

And even before Sauer’s formal resignation, GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner said Wednesday, “He should resign.”

The state GOP did not immediately address how it would handle Sauer’s plans to seek reelection to a second term.

In an interview with POLITICO and in her IG complaint, Kelly claimed the two began a long-distance relationship in 2016 after meeting on the dating app Tinder. She moved to Chicago from California in June 2017 to be closer to him but the couple broke up in March 2018, after Kelly says she discovered he had been dating other women.

Both are unmarried.

“The man that I loved and honored for over two years unfortunately did not exist. Until I moved to Chicago to be closer to him, he and I would share very private photos with each other, as many couples do,” she said in an email when asked to comment about the complaint, referring to his alleged behavior as a “betrayal” that has “sickened” her.

Following the break up, Kelly said Sauer reached out “randomly” in June with a long apologetic email about their relationship and sent three dozen roses to her work.

“I quickly realized things wouldn’t change and we stopped talking again. Then at the end of June, I told him he needed to reimburse me for flights and hotels, etc.,” she said.

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