West Virginia state Sen. Mike Maroney (R) was charged with solicitation after he surrendered to local police on Wednesday.
The police department of Glen Dale, West Virginia found texts on a woman’s phone soliciting sex, which were sent from a number registered to Maroney.
The lawmaker, who is out on a $4,500 bond, pleaded not guilty.
“We take this allegation incredibly seriously,” state Senate president Mitch Carmichael (R) told local CBS affiliate 59 News.
“We will do everything possible to ensure that we hold our Senate, our members, our staff, to very high ethical standards,” he said.
The chairwoman of the West Virginia Democratic Party, Belinda Biafore, demanded Maroney’s resignation in response to the incident.
“Senator Mike Maroney believed that he was above the law and today he’s been charged with soliciting prostitution,” Biafore said in a released statement. “We’re calling for the removal of Senator Mike Maroney from the West Virginia State Senate, and we’re looking to Governor Jim Justice and Senate President Mitch Carmichael to take the appropriate actions moving forward to make this happen.”