An Idaho state lawmaker who was under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct was found dead in his home by a family member on Tuesday in what authorities are calling an apparent suicide.
Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris said that Republican Brandon Hixon, 36, died from what investigators believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Hixon leaves behind his four children, aged six to 17. The Spokesman-Review reports:
He flew relatively under the radar during his time in the Statehouse until October, when he abruptly resigned from office after reports broke he was the subject of a criminal investigation for possible sexual abuse.
Records obtained by The Associated Press also show that Hixon was previously the focus of a separate police investigation in 2014 after he was accused of inappropriate touching. At the time, Hixon denied the accusations and told police he was worried the allegations would harm his political career.
Since resigning from office last month, Hixon was arrested two times for drunk driving and faced criminal misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest.
“I hope that my efforts have helped improve the lives of my constituents in District 10, as well as all Idahoans,” Hixon said in his resignation letter. “I will never forget all of my colleagues that I very much enjoyed working side by side with to make Idaho a better place for all.”
Lawmakers learned of Hixon’s suicide from House Speaker Scott Bedke during Tuesday’s floor session, some of whom made public statements offering their condolences.
Republican Rep. Bryan Zollinger tweeted: “Very saddened by the about news Rep. Hixon. I wish I had followed the promptings I recieved and called with words of kindness and encouragement. Reminder to us all to love one another despite differences of opinion.”
Democratic Rep. John McCrostie tweeted: “Still stunned and shocked. I didn’t always agree w/ Rep. Hixon, but I could work with and talk to him. That’s seriously a big deal. Hope you find some peace, Brandon. Condolences and prayers to his family including his children.”
Last month Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson (R) committed suicide after law enforcement officials had investigated him over allegations of sexual misconduct that stemmed from an incident years prior with a 17-year-old girl, after he was supposedly drinking.