Published: Sun, January 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pa. congressman Patrick Meehan used taxpayer money to settle misconduct complaint

Pa. congressman Patrick Meehan used taxpayer money to settle misconduct complaint

The aide then filed a complaint alleging sexual harassment, and ultimately left the job. She later reached a confidential agreement with Mr. Meehan's office that included a settlement for an undisclosed amount to be paid from Mr. Meehan's congressional office fund. Meehan's communications director told the Times in a statement that the lawmaker "denies these allegations".

Meehan, 62, is a married father of three.

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.

A former local prosecutor, Meehan has been a vocal supporter of domestic violence victims. "This clearly needs to be investigated", Dumeyer said. It does not name the aide.

According to the New York Times, Meehan became hostile towards his accuser, who is significantly younger than him, when she denied his romantic advances. "Mr. Meehan demanded confidentiality to resolve the matter, presumably so that the public would never know that he entered into a settlement of a serious sexual harassment claim". The payments were also apparently reported months after they were made.

"Congressman Meehan denies the allegations", his spokesman John Elizandro said in an email. The employee's accusations were investigated, Elizandro said, without giving further details. Every step of the process was handled ethically and appropriately.

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The woman's attorney rejected the call to undo the confidentiality agreement, according to a report. "We will not allow our client to be victimized twice by this man", Ronicker said. The Times's report is based on interviews with 10 people.

AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for Speaker Paul Ryan, confirmed in a statement to BuzzFeed News that Meehan had been removed from the committee, adding that Meehan "will immediately submit himself to the Ethics Committee for review".

"Speaker Ryan takes the allegations against Mr. Meehan very seriously".

Drew McGinty, a Democrat running against Meehan in the 2018 midterm elections, called on the lawmaker to immediately resign over the reported use of taxpayer dollars to settle the complaint.

Democrats wasted no time calling on Meehan to resign.

"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. It's just outrageous. It is horrific.

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