The Mayor of Portland, Oregon has said he “still has a very positive contribution to make” despite admitting he lied about his relationship with a teenager.
Sam Adams admitted last week that he had sex with Beau Breedlove during the summer of 2005, but only after he had turned 18.
Mr Adams, who was elected last year and took office on January 1st, had denied their relationship was sexual for at least 18 months.
Mr Breedlove was 17 and working as a state legislative intern when he met then-City Commissioner Adams.
Mr Adams publicly admitted on Tuesday that his previous assertions that he was merely “mentoring” Beau Breedlove for a career in politics had no foundation and were simply a front for their sexual relationship.
He apologised to Portland’s voters.
The Oregon Attorney General is to investigate if Mr Adams is telling the truth – if he had sex with Mr Breedlove when he was 17 he has broken state law, which stipulates no-one under 18 can give consent to sexual acts.
The Mayor seems to have deciced to stay, and apologised again in a video posted on his website last night.
“Tomorrow, I go back to work as your mayor. I know I have made big mistakes. I know I have let you down. And I ask for your forgiveness.
“I believe I still have a very positive contribution to make — to put to work the 20 years of public service to the good of Portland. And as I do this, I pledge to you: I will work harder than I have ever worked before to make sure Portland meets our challenges.
“These are some of the toughest times we’ve ever faced. The worst recession in 60 years, one of the highest national unemployment rates, some of the toughest business landscape we’ve ever seen.
“Now, rightfully, I know Portlanders are not going to rely on my words, and will look to my ability to deliver results to them in the coming months.
“And as we do this work together, with the lessons that I’ve learned in hand, I will work each and every day to restore your trust and faith in me as a public servant.
“I want to thank everyone who has sent me letters and texts and emails of support. I want to thank everyone who has sent me questions and who have, rightfully, sent me criticisms.
“I look forward to working with all of you to make sure that Portland moves forward.”
Last week a local gay magazine joined the Portland Business Journal, The Oregonian and the Portland Tribune in calling for Mayor Adams to resign.
“By his own admission, by committing the act of lying to the citizens of Portland, Adams has failed to show the principled character that this publication feels is a basic requirement for an elected official, ” the Just Out editorial board said.
“Just Out acknowledges that over his two decades as a public servant Adams has risen to become one of Oregon’s most revered openly gay leaders.
“The bond of trust and confidence has been broken. Adams has previously stated his hope that gay and lesbian youth might one day look to him as a role model and example.
“His own actions have now rendered this implausible.
“Adams must resign his seat as Portland’s Mayor.”
Mr Breedlove has backed the Mayor’s version of events, but revealed in an interview that they kissed twice while he was under 18.