Texas Republican Farenthold Quits Congress Amid Sex-Harassment Probe

US Rep. Farenthold announces resignation following sexual harassment claim

National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee (NRCC) Chairman Rep. Steve Stivers of OH called on Farenthold to uphold his promise to reimburse taxpayers for the settlement. The congressman later settled with the female staffer, paying an $84,000 settlement with taxpayer dollars.

However, the congressman used $84,000 controlled by the Congressional Office of Compliance to settle the lawsuit in 2015, triggering a probe a year ago by the House Ethics Committee after news reports of the payment.

While Farenthold has denied the sexual harassment accusation, the former conservative radio show host said in December he would not seek re-election. But after congressional sources said he'd paid the $84,000 settlement using taxpayer money, public focus intensified.

"Since being elected to Congress in 2010, I've worked to make government more efficient and responsive, cut government spending, repeal Obamacare, protect life and reduce the debt", his statement read in part following the announcement.

News reports about the settlement prompted calls for Farenthold to resign, which he did Friday afternoon in a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and video posted to Youtube.

"While I 100 percent support more transparency with respect to claims against members of Congress, I can neither confirm nor deny that settlement involved my office", Mr. Farenthold said at the time. "It's been an honor and a privilege to serve the constituents of the 27th district of Texas", he added.

When Farenthold announced his retirement from Congress in December, it opened up his seat for a runoff battle between Republicans Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud in May. "The people of Texas entrusted him with going to Washington, D.C., representing their views, and passing laws that help our region - but instead, his tenure in Congress has been marked by scandal, wrongdoing, and harassment". "As such, I was the only candidate to enter this race even when it looked like an uphill battle against an entrenched incumbent".

Asked Friday about the status of his promise to repay taxpayers, an aide did not reply.

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