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Oklahoma lawmaker resigning, cites inappropriate action

January 20, 2022 GMT
FILE- Oklahoma Rep. Jose Cruz, D-District 89, responds to Gov. Kevin Stitt's State of the State address in front of St. Anthony's Hospital, Feb. 1, 2021 in Oklahoma City. The state lawmaker is resigning effective 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 for what he calls inappropriate actions on New Year's Eve. Cruz said in a statement that he exercised poor judgment and acted "inappropriately during a gathering." The statement does not provide details of his actions or the event. Because his resignation comes in the same year his two-year term expires, his seat will remain unfilled until a new member is elected in November. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams_File)
FILE- Oklahoma Rep. Jose Cruz, D-District 89, responds to Gov. Kevin Stitt's State of the State address in front of St. Anthony's Hospital, Feb. 1, 2021 in Oklahoma City. The state lawmaker is resigning effective 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 for what he calls inappropriate actions on New Year's Eve. Cruz said in a statement that he exercised poor judgment and acted "inappropriately during a gathering." The statement does not provide details of his actions or the event. Because his resignation comes in the same year his two-year term expires, his seat will remain unfilled until a new member is elected in November. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams_File)
FILE- Oklahoma Rep. Jose Cruz, D-District 89, responds to Gov. Kevin Stitt's State of the State address in front of St. Anthony's Hospital, Feb. 1, 2021 in Oklahoma City. The state lawmaker is resigning effective 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 for what he calls inappropriate actions on New Year's Eve. Cruz said in a statement that he exercised poor judgment and acted "inappropriately during a gathering." The statement does not provide details of his actions or the event. Because his resignation comes in the same year his two-year term expires, his seat will remain unfilled until a new member is elected in November. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams_File)
FILE- Oklahoma Rep. Jose Cruz, D-District 89, responds to Gov. Kevin Stitt's State of the State address in front of St. Anthony's Hospital, Feb. 1, 2021 in Oklahoma City. The state lawmaker is resigning effective 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 for what he calls inappropriate actions on New Year's Eve. Cruz said in a statement that he exercised poor judgment and acted "inappropriately during a gathering." The statement does not provide details of his actions or the event. Because his resignation comes in the same year his two-year term expires, his seat will remain unfilled until a new member is elected in November. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams_File)
FILE- Oklahoma Rep. Jose Cruz, D-District 89, responds to Gov. Kevin Stitt's State of the State address in front of St. Anthony's Hospital, Feb. 1, 2021 in Oklahoma City. The state lawmaker is resigning effective 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 for what he calls inappropriate actions on New Year's Eve. Cruz said in a statement that he exercised poor judgment and acted "inappropriately during a gathering." The statement does not provide details of his actions or the event. Because his resignation comes in the same year his two-year term expires, his seat will remain unfilled until a new member is elected in November. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams_File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state lawmaker from Oklahoma City has announced his resignation for what he calls inappropriate actions on New Year’s Eve.

In a statement provided by his political consultant, Democrat Jose Cruz did not provide details of his actions or the event, but said he apologizes, is embarrassed and will formally resign on Friday.

“I started 2022 by exercising poor judgment and acting inappropriately during a gathering,” Cruz said. “I deeply regret my conduct and that my actions made someone else uncomfortable. I’m upset with myself and embarrassed.

“My actions on New Year’s Eve did not reflect my values and beliefs. I consider myself a champion of women and have deep respect for my female colleagues and friends. However, my conduct that evening was inappropriate. I take full responsibility for my behavior and I apologize.”

Cruz did not respond to messages left Thursday seeking comment.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Emily Virgin said she was aware of Cruz’s resignation but declined to comment further.

“We are aware of Rep. Cruz’s resignation and have a plan to make sure services to the constituents of House District 89 are uninterrupted,” Virgin, of Norman, said in a statement.

Because his resignation comes in the same year his two-year term expires, his seat will remain unfilled until a new member is elected in November.

Cruz, 31, an attorney, was elected to the south Oklahoma City seat in 2020 and served on the Agriculture and Rural Development and the Criminal Judiciary committees. He also was a member of the Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

He was a founding member last year of a new bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Latino Caucus.