Rep. Pat Meehan just folded like a corduroy suit from K-Mart.
Meehan will not seek reelection amid a furor over his use of taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim against an aide, and the national response to his describing the woman as his “soul mate.”
“After consultation with my wife Carolyn and with my three sons, and after prayerful reflection, I write to inform you that I will not seek re-election to the United States Congress for the 7th Congressional District in 2018,” the Delaware County Republican wrote Thursday in a letter to his campaign chairman. “Today I communicated the same to the office of Speaker Paul Ryan.”
In it, Meehan, 62, attempts again to explain his actions and comments after a series of interviews Tuesday, including one with the Inquirer, only raised more questions about his conduct.
“Unfortunately, recent events concerning my office and the settlement of certain harassment allegations have become a major distraction,” he wrote. “I need to own it because it is my own conduct that fueled the matter.” – READ MORE
Rep. Patrick Meehan, R- Pa., acknowledged Tuesday that he told an aide of his that she was “a soul mate,” but denied that his actions were considered harassment.
The married Republican congressman, who said he intends to run for reelection, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he “developed an affection” for his younger aide, but never pursued a romantic relationship with her.
However, Meehan, 62, admitted he reacted “selfishly” when he found out the longtime aide was in a serious relationship with another man. The congressman said that he lashed out at the aide in his office, which he attributed to a tense period around House votes on health care legislation.
“Sometimes I have the tendency to lash out to others on the staff … and you go hardest on the ones that you care the most about,” Meehan told the newspaper. – READ MORE
HARRISBURG, Pa — House Speaker Paul Ryan ordered an Ethics Committee investigation Saturday after The New York Times reported that U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan had used taxpayer money to settle a complaint arising from hostility toward an ex-aide who rebuffed his romantic overtures.
The story, published online Saturday, cites unnamed people who said Meehan, R-Pa., had used thousands of dollars from his congressional office fund to settle the sexual harassment complaint the ex-aide filed last summer to the congressional Office of Compliance.
Ryan’s office said the allegations must be investigated “fully and immediately” by the House Ethics Committee, and that Meehan should repay any taxpayer funds used to settle the case.
Ryan’s office also said Meehan is being removed from the committee.- READ MORE
The United States Senate has paid out more than $1.5 million in “workplace harassment” settlements — including sexual harassment settlements — since 1998, according to a report released by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee over the holiday weekend.
The Senate had been reticent to release any actual figures on how much taxpayers have doled out over their members’ bad behavior, but the small regulations body chaired by Sen. Richard Shelby allowed the public to get a closer glimpse at Senate records while most of the country was busy celebrating Christmas.
According to the report, which is sparse on details, the Rules and Administration Committee has settled “dozens” of individual complaints in the last two decades, paying out $1.5 million — significant, but nowhere near the $15 million Rep. Jackie Speier claims has been doled out to victims from the House of Representatives’ coffers. Six hundred thousand of that total came from individual Senate offices. “Other Senate offices,” such as committee and caucus bodies, paid out $850,000. – READ MORE