Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan announced his immediate retirement from the House.
“While I do believe I would be exonerated of any wrongdoing, I also did not want to put my staff through the rigors of an Ethics Committee investigation and believed it was best for them to have a head start on new employment rather than being caught up in an inquiry. And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff,” Meehan said in a statement Friday.
The Pennsylvania representative also alerted the state’s governor, Tom Wolf, writing him that “it has been an honor and a privilege” to serve his constituents.
The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Meehan and his former chief of staff in February for sexual misconduct. Meehan reportedly made romantic overtures toward a female staff member, who was in a relationship. The congressman reportedly became upset and began treating the staffer differently.
Meehan later corroborated the reports, claiming he told the staffer about his feelings toward her and he wasn’t happy when she told him she was in a relationship.
“I fully respect Congressman Meehan’s decision to resign. I’m pleased to hear he will pay back the taxpayer money used for his office’s severance payment. We must continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said Friday.
Forty-seven House Republicans are either resigning, retiring or seeking other office in 2018. Roughly 22 House members retire each election cycle.
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