Speed Reads

another one bites the dust

Facing backlash over harassment claim, GOP congressman won't seek re-election

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) announced Thursday he will not seek re-election, a week after The New York Times reported he used taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment case involving a former aide.

Meehan, 62 and married with three sons, said the allegations have become a "major distraction" but he needs to "own it because it is my own conduct that fueled the matter." Speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this week, Meehan denied any wrongdoing, but admitted he had strong feelings of affection for the woman, who is decades younger than him, and said he thought she was his "soul mate." He also said he settled the case on the advice of House attorneys.

Meehan was removed from the House Ethics Committee over the weekend, and an investigation into the claim was launched; Meehan said if he is found guilty by the committee, he will repay the taxpayer funds.