WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jon Hinson, R-Miss., charged with attempted oral sodomy in a congressional restroom, reportedly is 'sad' and 'extremely sorry' about the recent.
The comment was made Tuesday by Hinson's administrative aide Marshall Hanbury, who flew into Jackson from Washington to make sure the 4th congressional district office continued to operate normally while Hinson makes up his mind when to resign.
Hanbury said he had talked with Hinson last Sunday, and when asked how the congressman's frame of mind, Hanbury said, 'He was sad, and extremely sorry this happened.'
The 36-year-old congressional aide said Hinson also realized his resignation was in the best interests of the 4th district.
Hanbury said, however, no decision has been made on when the resignation would go into effect.
But Marshall Hanbury, his administrative assistant and one of the few persons allowed to visit Hinson in Washington's Sibley Hospital, said Monday he 'does intend to resign.'
'I have talked with Jon and there is presently no indication of when the resignation will come,' Hanbury said. 'We are simply saying he intends to resign.'
There was no concerted pressure last year on Maryland Republican Robert Bauman to resign after his arrest Oct. 3 for soliciting sex from a teen-age boy. But it was late in the session and Bauman lost his bid for re-election a month later.
Mississippi Republicans said they supported Hinson's re-election last November after he admitted being arrested on a morals charge in 1976, but denied he was a homosexual.
'I think the party was fooled,' said Mississippi GOP Chairman Mike Retzer, who had rallied Republican support for Hinson's successful re-election campaign.
Retzer said Monday the state GOP executive committee will meet Feb. 16 to discuss holding a convention to select a candidate for Hinson's seat.
'We feel it's our responsibility to provide leadership in what appears to be chaos,' he said. 'What we are trying to do is line up the party behind one candidate.'
After Hinson resigns, Mississipppi Gov. William Winter must order a special election within 60 days. The election must be held within 40 days of that order.
Others who said Hinson should resign included House Republican leader Robert Michel of Illinois; Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who had campaigned for Hinson; and Rep. Trent Lott, House Republican Whip, also a Mississippian.
Capitol police arrested Hinson in a men's room of a House office building and charged him with oral sodomy, a felony, last Wednesday. The U.S. attorney's office reduced the charge to attempted sodomy, a misdemeanor. Officials explained attempted sodomy is the usual charge when two consenting males are involved.
Hinson's trial in District of Columbia Superior Court is set for May 4.