Published: Sat, April 07, 2018

Texas GOP Congressman Resigns Suddenly Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Texas GOP Congressman Resigns Suddenly Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Farenthold's resignation brings that investigation to an immediate end.

However, the congressman used $84,000 controlled by the Congressional Office of Compliance to settle the lawsuit in 2015, triggering a probe past year by the House Ethics Committee after news reports of the payment.

Blake Farenthold resigned from Congress on Friday in the face of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and calls to reimburse US taxpayers for a related settlement.

"Since being elected to Congress in 2010, I've worked to make government more efficient and responsive, cut government spending, repeal Obamacare, protect life and reduce the debt".

Questions remain on promises he made to repay the $84,000 in taxpayer funds he used to settle the sexual harrassment suit.

The House Ethics Committee announced past year that it would be investigating Farenthold's use of taxpayer funds to settle his sexual harassment suit, but the findings of that inquiry have not yet been released. Farenthold did admit he "allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional".

The independent Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the House Ethics Committee dismiss the case, but the allegations were revived after it became public that Farenthold paid an $84,000 settlement using money from a taxpayer-funded account. "Congress must hold ourselves to a higher standard and regain the trust of the American people", he said in a statement. It accused Farenthold of repeatedly complimenting her appearance, then joking that he hoped the comments wouldn't be construed as sexual harassment.

News reports about the settlement prompted calls for Farenthold to resign, which he did Friday afternoon in a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and video posted to Youtube.

Two Republicans, former Texas Water Board official Bech Bruun and ex-Victoria County Republican Party Chairman Michael Cloud, are squaring off in a May 22 primary runoff to succeed him. Farenthold has denied the sexual harassment allegations against him. But with his immediate resignation, Abbott must call a special election, the victor of which would serve through January 2019.

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