Michael Vadon / Flickr tired trump...
Michael Vadon / Flickr

Representative Patrick “Pat” Meehan—PA 7th, used taxpayer funds to pay a settlement to a woman he sexually harassed.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan is ordering an Ethics Committee investigation after the New York Times reports that U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan used taxpayer money to settle a complaint that stemmed from his hostility toward a former aide who rejected his romantic overtures.

Patrick Meehan is one of the so-called “moderates” in the Republican House. What that means in practice is that he is given a free pass to vote “No” on the most horrendous votes his compatriots devise (when they’re certain to pass anyway) so he can maintain the illusion of “moderateness” in a Pennsylvania “Swing” District that went heavily for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the 2016 and 2012 national elections, respectively.

Meehan is going down.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Meehan, a 63-year-old married father of three, professed his romantic interest in an aide last year, grew hostile when she did not reciprocate, and that his office reached a confidential settlement with the woman with the money to be paid from Meehan’s congressional office fund. The report cited people familiar with the settlement, who were not named.

The Congressional office fund is comprised of US taxpayer dollars.

The details are rather pathetic:

The Times reported that the aide was decades younger than Meehan and regarded him as a father figure, but after she began a relationship with someone outside the office last year Meehan expressed his romantic interest in person and in a letter.

Meehan reportedly became hostile, prompting the aide to start working at home. According to the Times she started the complaint process, but that complaint was met with an aggressive pushback by representatives of Meehan’s office and lawyers, and the aide paid legal costs even after her job and ended up moving back with her parents before starting a new life abroad. The newspaper reported that people who know the aide said the experience left her feeling traumatized.

Apparently he was incensed at he fact that this woman found a boyfriend near her own age. Too bad for Patrick. Life is hard.

Also reported in the New York Times and USAToday.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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