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Rep. Rick Roeber of Lee's Summit resigns from Missouri House

Rick Roeber.jpg
Posted at 2:43 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 15:48:28-04

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A Missouri state lawmaker exiled from the House Republican caucus over accusations of sexually and physically abusing his children years ago on Tuesday said he will step down.

Republican Rep. Rick Roeber in his resignation letter said he will resign Friday. He represents the 34th District in the Missouri House of Representatives, which includes part of Lee's Summit and Greenwood in Jackson County.

Roeber did not cite any of the allegations against him in his letter of resignation. He said he needs to move out of state to be closer to family and cited that as the reason for his departure from the Legislature.

Roeber said his mother "is in a Memory Care unit in the state where we are moving" among the reasons for his relocation.

He said he plans to move after he marries his fiancée.

He also said he has accomplished his only legislative goals: voting on education bills and memorializing his late wife, former Republican Rep. Rebecca Roeber. She died in 2019, and her husband won election to her seat in November 2020.

Roeber's adult children in a letter to House leadership last year wrote that he sexually and physically abused them when they were young.

Roeber's adult children first spoke publicly of the abuse to the Kansas City Star, which published details in September 2020. Voters in suburban Kansas City elected Roeber anyway two months later.

After his election, Roeber's children wrote a letter begging now-Speaker Rob Vescovo to prevent him from serving.

"To think that this man would have a say over laws that impact thousands of children is just too much," according to the letter signed by three of his children. "A man like this does not deserve the high honor of serving in our government."

House Republicans banned him from their caucus, and House leaders called for an investigation of the claims against him.

Roeber submitted his resignation as the House Ethics Committee was meeting Tuesday.

41 Action News Digital Content Producer Tod Palmer contributed to this report.