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GOP Lawmaker Caught Using Taxpayer Money To Settle Sexual Harassment Case Resigns To Avoid Investigation

A Republican congressman who used taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims made against him announced on Friday that he would be resigning immediately.

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), a member of the House Ethics Committee who said that, while he believed he would have been cleared of any wrongdoing, he wanted to resign so that he could avoid an Ethics Committee investigation into his conduct.

“I also did not want to put my staff through the rigors of an Ethics Committee investigation and believed it was best for them to have a head start on new employment rather than being caught up in an inquiry,” he said. “And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff.”

Meehan also said that he would reimburse taxpayers for $39,000 he paid out to a former staffer who had accused him of harassment, according to USA Today.

“I did not want to leave with any question of violating the trust of taxpayers,” Meehan said in explaining his decision to make the payment, which will be delivered within a month of his leaving office.

Meehan is the second lawmaker to announce an abrupt resignation over allegations of sexual harassment. Former Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, announced earlier this month he would be leaving Congress before the end of his term. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked Farenthold to pay the cost of the special election to replace him.

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