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

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday called on former Rep. Blake Farenthold (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 Brooks (R-Ind.) and ranking member Ted Deutch (D-Fla.). 

{mosads}”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 Ryan (R-Wis.) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers (Ohio) have also called on the embattled former rep to return the funds. 

Tags Blake Farenthold Paul Ryan Sexual misconduct Steve Stivers Susan Brooks Ted Deutch United States House Committee on Ethics

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