The communications director for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had resigned amid allegations that the congressman made payments to multiple women recruited online for sex, according to NBC News.
A source told the network that Luke Ball, who has been a spokesman for Gaetz since 2019, resigned out of principle.
The spokesman’s resignation is the most recent development in the fallout of the Gaetz inquiry. Reports earlier this week revealed that the Florida Republican has been embroiled in a Justice Department inquiry stemming from a probe into sex trafficking involving Joel Greenberg, a Florida tax collector, who already faces dozens of charges and was indicted for a sex trafficking charge that involved a teenager last August.
Gaetz is also being investigated for allegedly having sex with the same 17-year-old girl.
According to a New York Times report on Thursday night, receipts from Cash App and Apple Pay show that Gaetz made payments to women. Some of the women who met Gaetz for encounters, often in Florida hotels in 2019 and 2020, told friends that the cash was for sex with Gaetz and Greenberg, the Times said. Gaetz told the women to say that he had paid for hotel rooms and dinners as part of the dates if anyone asked about their arrangements, a person familiar with the conversations told the Times.
Ball served first as a press secretary for Gaetz before being appointed his communications director in late 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile. Ball also campaigned for Gaetz when the GOP lawmaker was first elected to Congress in 2018 at age 34.
Gaetz has denied ever paying anyone for sex and has not been charged with any wrongdoing.