Speed Reads


GOP congressman used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment lawsuit

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) reportedly used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokeswoman in 2014, Politico reports. The accuser, Lauren Greene, claimed in her lawsuit that an aide told her Farenthold had "sexual fantasies" and "wet dreams" about her. Greene said Farenthold had told her himself that he was "estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years." She claims she was fired after complaining about the comments.

An investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics concluded that there was "not substantial reason to believe that Rep. Farenthold sexually harassed or discriminated against [Greene], or engaged in an effort to intimidate, take reprisal against, or discriminate against [Greene] for opposing such treatment, in violation of House rules and federal law." House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) told ABC News Friday that Congress had paid out $84,000 to settle just one sexual harassment claim involving a House member since 2012, but details of who the official was had not been previously released.

Farenthold "adamantly denie[d] that he engaged in any wrongdoing" in a joint statement between himself and Greene that was never released, but was obtained by Politico. Read more about the lawsuit and settlement here.