Rep. Trent Franks

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, a Glendale Republican, is perhaps the favorite Arizona congressman among evangelical Christian conservatives, the Associated Press reports.  

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Congressman Trent Franks, the dean of Arizona's House Republicans, announced suddenly Thursday that he will step down as of Jan. 31, 2018, amid claims of inappropriate behavior.

Franks said he is resigning after learning the House Ethics Committee was investigating him for sexual harassment involving two "previous female subordinates," the congressman said.

In a lengthy written statement, Franks said he and his wife have struggled with infertility, and that his "discussion of surrogacy" with the two women while in the work place had "caused distress."

While Franks sought to cast the complaints as without merit, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he found them "credible claims of misconduct."

In his eight terms representing the Phoenix area's West Valley and Glendale in Washington, Franks has been a stalwart social conservative on Capitol Hill, frequently citing the Bible and denouncing abortion. 

Click here to read The Arizona Republic's full report. 

Also, Republic opinion columnist Laurie Roberts' take — that there's a "high creep factor" to asking an aide to carry your unborn baby — is here.