Patrick Meehan, the Republican congressman who is investigating sexual harassment allegations against his colleagues, settled his own harassment complaint using taxpayer dollars, according to a report by The New York Times.
Based on interviews with 10 unnamed sources, the Times reports that Meehan paid “thousands of dollars” from his congressional office fund last year after a former aide filed a complaint about the Pennsylvania representative’s behavior.
The aide is several decades younger than Meehan, 62, and is said to have regarded him as a “father figure,” according to the Times. But after the woman began a relationship with someone outside the office, Meehan reportedly confessed his romantic feelings for her and became hostile when she did not return the affection. The woman ultimately left her position, and reached a confidential settlement agreement with Meehan’s office.
The report is particularly disarming because Meehan, a member of the Ethics Committee, has been involved in investigating recent sexual misconduct allegations against at least four congressmen. During his days as a federal prosecutor, he advocated for the protections of domestic violence survivors, and has since joined a bipartisan congressional task-force to end sexual violence.
John Elizandro, Meehan’s communications director, said in a statement saying that Meehan “denies these allegations” and “has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.