House Ethics Member Reportedly Settled Sexual Misconduct Case With Taxpayer Money

Marsha Scott
January 22, 2018

According to the story, Meehan "used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him past year of making unwanted romantic overtures to her".

Last year, Meehan reportedly expressed his romantic desires for one of his aides, who was decades younger than him, on multiple occasions. Those familiar with the aide's experience say Meehan then grew hostile when the aide did not reciprocate.

Life in the office became untenable, so she initiated the complaint process, started working from home and ultimately left the job.

"It would be offensive for Rep. Meehan to ask the citizens of the 7th congressional district for the honor of continuing to represent them in the next Congress", it continued. She eventually settled with Meehan through the Office of Compliance, receiving a payout said to be in the thousands, though the total amount has not been made public. Minnesota Sen. Al Franken resigned earlier this month amid several accusations of unwanted groping and kissing.

Four congressmen-two Republicans and two Democrats-have either resigned or announced they will not seek re-election over allegations of sexual harassment.

But Meehan's case is particularly of note due to the Republican being a well-known advocate on behalf of victims of sexual assault.

The Times also wrote of Meehan's record in Congress that "he has sponsored legislation mandating the reporting of sexual violence, and he is a member of a bipartisan congressional task force to end such violence".

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In July of 2016, Meehan had introduced the "Duty to Report Sexual Assault Act of 2016" to require owners and employees of massage parlors to report allegations of sexual assault to law enforcement.

"Patrick Meehan's secretive settlement is just another example of Washington's incompetence when handling issues related to sexual misconduct", Drew McGinty said in an emailed statement.

"Speaker Ryan takes the allegations against Mr. Meehan very seriously", Ryan's spokesperson AshLee Strong said in a statement.

Meehan spokesman John Elizandro said the congressman denies the allegations and has called on the former aide to waive the confidentiality agreement to "ensure a full and open airing of all the facts".

"No matter their party, members and candidates must all be held to the highest standard", said a statement from Meredith Kelly, a spokeswoman for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Meehan was a member of the House Ethics Committee until Saturday, when Ryan removed him in response to the Times report. "The Congressman is hopeful that they will agree to this request for full transparency", the statement added.

Meehan demanded confidentiality, attorney Alexis Ronickher told Philly.com.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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