Republican Congressman Removed From Ethics Committee After Report Of Sexual Harassment Settlement

Meehan Settled Sexual Harassment Claim With Staffer

Report: Congressman leading charge against assault settles own misconduct case

Meehan, a Pennsylvania Republican, used thousands of dollars from an office account to settle a complaint from a former aide who said he made unwanted romantic overtures to her.

However, Meehan denied the allegations.

According to the report, published Saturday, Meehan is accused of expressing romantic interest toward a younger female staff member and then becoming "hostile when she did not reciprocate".

The former aide initiated a complaint with Congress' Office of Compliance, began working from home and ultimately left her job, the Times reported.

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) has been seen as a leading lawmaker in combatting the issue of sexual harassment in Congress. Meehan sits on the House Ethics Committee, which is partly responsible for investigating sexual misconduct claims in Congress.

"Throughout his career, he has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism", the statement read.

Meehan's spokesman said: "In this case, the employee, represented by counsel, made certain assertions of inappropriate behavior which were investigated ... every step of the process was handled ethically and appropriately". "The House is set to pass major bipartisan reform to the way the House handles claims of sexual harassment, and the speaker will apply these new standards to the allegations made against Mr. Meehan", Strong said.

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Meehan, who resides in Drexel Hill, has represented Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district since 2011 and previously served as the Delaware County District Attorney from 1996 to 2001. Meehan is being removed from his position on the committee, and Ryan told Meehan that he should repay any taxpayer funds that were used to settle the case, Ryan's spokeswoman said. "We will not allow our client to be victimized twice by this man".

"Reporting alleged assault will help victims understand their rights, like pursuing an investigation and pressing charges, and the resources available, such as local sexual assault programs", Meehan had said in a press release on the legislation.

The aide later reached a confidential agreement with Meehan's office, which included a settlement for an undisclosed amount paid from Meehan's congressional office fund, according to the report.

The Michigan Democrat John Conyers and Arizona Republican Trent Franks resigned. "Following a conversation with the speaker today, Mr Meehan will immediately submit himself to the ethics committee for review".

Ryan apparently is not calling for Meehan's resignation at this time.

Ronickher said the Ethics Committee investigation must include the fact that Meehan, in his Saturday statement responding to the Times article, "knowingly breached confidentiality in his agreement by discussing the case and the terms of any potential settlement agreement".

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