Ethics Committee announces lawmakers on panel probing Farenthold
The House Ethics Committee on Wednesday announced the lawmakers that will serve on the subcommittee charged with investigating sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).
Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) will serve as the panel’s chairman and Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) has been tapped to serve as its ranking member, according to a statement released by the Ethics Committee’s top lawmakers.
Two other lawmakers, Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), will also sit on the investigative panel.
The Ethics Committee announced last week that it would open an investigation into Farenthold, particularly whether he sexually harassed a former staffer and retaliated against her when she complained about his conduct.
The staffer, Lauren Greene, was fired from Farenthold’s office in 2014 and filed a lawsuit against the congressman later that year. Politico reported earlier this month that Farenthold settled that suit in 2015 for $84,000 in taxpayer money.
Farenthold has said that he will repay the settlement.
The revelation of the payout and allegations against Farenthold came as a number of powerful men in politics, media, business and beyond have faced allegations of sexual misconduct and mounting pressure to resign from their jobs.
Several lawmakers have called for a crackdown on sexual harassment in Congress, while three members of Congress have recently resigned after various claims of sexual misconduct.