GOP Congressman Used Taxpayer Money For Lawyers After Being Accused Of Sexual Harassment
Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) decided to use taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former female staffer, according to The New York Times.
Meehan, a member of the House Ethics Committee, apparently had a love interest in his female staffer, but she was not interested.
The Times reported on Friday:
“A married father of three, Mr. Meehan, 62, had long expressed interest in the personal life of the aide, who was decades younger and had regarded the congressman as a father figure, according to three people who worked with the office and four others with whom she discussed her tenure there.”
The female staffer than began receiving letters from the Congressman, where he world professed his desires in person and in a handwritten letter.
The ended up driving her away and she ended up filing a complaint.
“Life in the office became untenable, so she initiated the complaint process, started working from home and ultimately left the job,” The Times reported. “She later reached a confidential agreement with Mr. Meehan’s office that included a settlement for an undisclosed amount to be paid from Mr. Meehan’s congressional office fund.”
After the complaint was filed, Congressman Meehan was represented in the investigative process by two staffers from his congressional office and two lawyers for the House’s office of employment counsel.
On the other hand, the staffer, who was now out of a job, had to personally pay for her own legal fees.
“The handling of that complaint — which included an aggressive pushback by representatives from Mr. Meehan’s office and congressional lawyers, who suggested she had misinterpreted the congressman’s behavior — demoralized the aide. It led to her estrangement from her colleagues, and isolation from friends, family and her boyfriend, according to the people in whom she confided,” The Times reported. “It set her back financially and professionally, as she continued to pay legal costs associated with the complaint even after leaving her job in Mr. Meehan’s office and struggling to find a new one. She moved back in with her parents and ultimately decided to start a new life abroad.”