House Ethics calls on Farenthold to pay back $84K taxpayer-funded harassment settlement

House Ethics calls on Farenthold to pay back $84K taxpayer-funded harassment settlement
© Greg Nash

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday called on former Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Lawmaker seeks to ban ex-members from lobbying until sexual harassment settlements repaid Former Texas lawmaker Blake Farenthold resigns from lobbying job MORE (R-Texas) to follow through on his pledge to reimburse the $84,000 in taxpayer dollars used to settle a sexual harassment claim.

Farenthold resigned Friday, just ahead of the committee's April 11 scheduled vote on the allegations against him. The panel dropped its investigation since it "no longer has jurisdiction" over the former congressman, according to a statement released by Ethics Chairwoman Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race House Dems release 2020 GOP 'retirements to watch' for House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 MORE (R-Ind.) and ranking member Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales Whitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers Parkland father on Gaetz advocating for border wall in gun violence hearing: 'Pretty offensive' MORE (D-Fla.). 

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"We note Representative Farenthold publicly promised to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for $84,000 in funds paid to settle the lawsuit brought against him for claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation," the statement reads. "We encourage him in the strongest possible terms to uphold that promise." 

The Texas lawmaker's former communications director, Lauren Greene, sued her boss for allegedly fostering a hostile work environment.

After coming under fire in December for using an Office of Compliance account to pay his accuser, Farenthold said he would retire at the end of his term before ultimately deciding to step down in April. 

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden MORE (R-Wis.) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversNew push to open banks to marijuana industry Steve King asks for Congressional Record correction over white supremacist quote Rep. Steve King pushes GOP to reinstate his committee assignments MORE (Ohio) have also called on the embattled former rep to return the funds.