A Texas republican used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment charge issued by a former staffer, and now that republican is being named.
U.S. Rep Blake Farenthold took some $84,000 of taxpayer money to payoff Lauren Greene, a former Farenthold staffer, Politico reports.
Farenthold, has served in the House since 2011 and according to Politico:
Greene claimed in the lawsuit that another Farenthold aide told her the lawmaker had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene. She also claimed that Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” and told her in February 2014 that he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years.”
When she complained about comments Farenthold and a male staffer made to her, Greene said the congressman improperly fired her. She filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, but the case was later dropped after both parties reached a private settlement.
The case was settled in 2014 and both parties agreed to drop the case in 2015.
“While I 100% support more transparency with respect to claims against members of Congress, I can neither confirm nor deny that settlement involved my office as the Congressional Accountability Act prohibits me from answering that question,” Farenthold said in a statement issued to Politico.
Let me break this statement down so it’s easier to understand.
“While I believe in airing other people’s dirty laundry, I don’t want y’all all up in my business when my life isn’t right. Was I inappropriate? Of course. Did I pay someone using tax money in hopes that this would never see the light of day? Of course. Can I talk about it? Umm, why don’t you mind your business?”
There, I fixed it for you.
This isn’t the first time a Congressman has used taxpayer money to settle workplace issues, in fact, since 1997 more that $17 million in taxpayer money has been used to settle all types of disputes including sexual harassment claims, the Texas Tribune reports.