The House Ethics Committee is launching an investigation into GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan’s alleged sexual misconduct, according to a Monday announcement.
Following a former female staffer’s accusations of sexual harassment, the House Ethics Committee announced that it would release Meehan from his position and initiate a probe into his behavior with a former employee, according to The Hill. The probe will investigate the allegations, as well as the claim that Meehan used thousands of taxpayer dollars to settle a misconduct claim.
House Speaker Paul Ryan encouraged Meehan to pay back the cost of the settlement and moved to strip the lawmaker from his post on the Ethics Committee. Meehan gave himself over to the panel review in response to Ryan’s nudge. Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe will replace Meehan on the Ethics Committee.
“[Meehan] has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism,” his office said in a statement, according to the New York Times. Meehan denies all allegations.
Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold also settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with $84,000 in taxpayer money after a staffer complained about a hostile work environment, sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
Brought by former Farenthold spokeswoman Lauren Greene, the lawsuit alleged that Farenthold’s office was a hostile work environment filled with lewd comments about sex, Politico reports. Her complaint alleges that Farenthold spoke about his “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene. (RELATED:Congressman Paid $84,000 To Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Wet Dreams’ Comments).
The panel has also recently launched investigations into sexual misconduct claims against Reps. Trent Franks, John Conyers and Ruben Kihuen.
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