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Yikes! No time machine on this hot tub -- Utah politician resigns

Utah House Majority Leader Kevin Garn resigned Saturday, two days after admitting to a nude hot-tubbing incident with a minor 25 years ago.

By Jimmy Orr / March 14, 2010

Utah House Majority Leader Kevin Garn announced he was resigning Saturday after admitting a nude hot tubbing incident with a minor more than 25 years ago.

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At least one politician assuredly wishes that the new movie "Hot Tub Time Machine" was true. Or at least the technology in the movie existed.

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Jimmy has spent the majority of his career in politics including serving as White House Spokesman and Internet Director for President George W. Bush and Special Advisor to Gov. Schwarzenegger for Internet Communications.

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Utah House Majority Leader Kevin Garn announced he was resigning Saturday two days after telling his House colleagues that he had spent an evening nude hot-tubbing with a 15-year old girl back in 1985.

"Although we did not have any sexual contact, it was still clearly inappropriate -- and it was my fault," Garn said on the floor of the Utah House Thursday.

Hush money

That's not all. He also admitted to paying her $150,000 to keep quiet about it. That was back in 2003.

Now, seven years later, she's talking. Cheryl Maher started calling reporters last week. She told one Salt Lake TV station that she was his babysitter at the time and there wasn't just one incident.

"It was a relationship that was going on that was completely inappropriate," Maher said.

The inappropriateness of the relationship -- whatever it was -- seems to be something they both agree on now. He also said he should have come public with it years ago.

"I expect to suffer public humiliation and embarrassment," he told his colleagues on Thursday. "Some lessons are hard to learn. This is something I should've done back in 2002 but I was scared. I did not want to be publicly judged by one of my life's [worst decisions]."

Resignation

On Thursday, Garn said he had no intention of stepping down. Apparently he's had a change of heart though. The Associated Press reports that he announced his resignation Saturday.

"After discussing this matter with my family, I have decided that it is in the best interests of them, my colleagues and the people of Utah," he wrote in an email to House Speaker David Clark.

Standing ovation?

One thing that might have seemed a bit astoundingly odd was the standing ovation that Garn received following his admission. In a statement today, Clark sought to clarify why that occurred. He said they weren't applauding the hot-tub party.

"And while not condoning his inappropriate actions, we wanted to show support to a colleague," Clark said in the statement. "This is the state of mind that gave rise to the applause directed to Representative Garn on the final night of the session. A standing ovation is a standard custom of the House, and was a natural conclusion to Representative Garn's difficult and emotional statement. I hope the people of Utah understand that our support of Representative Garn and his family does not in any way signal support for illegal, unethical or ill-advised action by any member of the House."

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