In this Aug. 3, 2020, file photo, Oklahoma Attorney Gen. Mike Hunter speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki | AP
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter on Wednesday said he would resign, citing the risk of distractions from “personal matters that are becoming public.”
Hunter’s sudden resignation, effective next Tuesday, came two days after the Republican filed for divorce from his wife, Cheryl, after 39 years of marriage, The Oklahoman newspaper reported Wednesday.
That newspaper reported that it “submitted questions to Hunter on Tuesday night about an extramarital affair that the newspaper confirmed through people familiar with the situation.”
“The sources said the affair was with a state employee, who did not work in the attorney general’s office,” The Oklahoman reported.
In his resignation statement, Hunter said, “It has been a distinct and absolute privilege of a lifetime to serve as the state’s attorney general.”
“Regrettably, certain personal matters that are becoming public will become a distraction for this office. The office of attorney general is one of the most important positions in state government,” Hunter said.
“I cannot allow a personal issue to overshadow the vital work the attorneys, agents and support staff do on behalf of Oklahomans.”
Hunter’s communications director, Alex Gerszewski, in a phone call with CNBC declined to share any more details about why the attorney general was resigning.
Hunter became attorney general in 2017, when he was appointed by the state’s governor to succeed Scott Pruitt, who had left to become the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under then-President Donald Trump.
He was elected to a full term the following year and planned to seek reelection in 2022, according to The Oklahoman.
Hunter last week praised the U.S. Supreme Court for agreeing to hear an appeal related to a Mississippi law that allows a woman to obtain an abortion only in cases of a medical emergency or severe abnormality in the fetus.
Hunter was one of 18 state attorneys general who asked the high court to take the case, which he told The Oklahoman could lead to a decision that would uphold Oklahoma’s own restrictive abortion law, which bans the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy.