U.S. lawmaker Meehan resigns following sexual harassment claim

29 April, 2018, 08:21 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan

A former aide accused Meehan of sexual harassment, which the lawmaker denied.

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), who was facing a congressional ethics investigation for allegedly using almost $40,000 in taxpayer money to pay off a sexual harassment claim, has announced his resignation. U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent announced last week that he will resign sometime in May, after having previously said he would not seek another term, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello announced in March that he would not seek re-election, partly because of his and the state's other congressional districts being redrawn by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Al Franken, D-Minn., who resigned in January, recently have either left before the completion of their terms or said they would not run for re-election because of sex scandals.

Tom Rust, a spokesman for the Ethics Committee, said "no comment" when asked if the committee planned to release the results of their findings Friday afternoon.

"While I do believe I would be exonerated of any wrong doing, 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", Meehan said.

Meehan, 62, is a married father of three who has represented his southeastern Pennsylvania district since 2011.


When news broke of the sexual harassment allegations, Meehan attempted to explain that he saw the female aide at the center of the claims as his "soul mate" and that he reacted "selfishly" upon learning that she was in a relationship.

In a resignation letter, Meehan vowed to repay the $39,000 he used from his House office account as a severance payment to help settle the woman's allegations against him. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum when he was elected Delaware County District Attorney in 1995. There won't be an official primary ballot, as the political parties will pick their own candidates during nominating conventions. "That special election date must be at least 60 days after the vacancy occurs but could be any date after the 60-day minimum".

Meehan declined to reveal any future plans.

The former congressman says he will pay the money back within 30 days.

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