An investigation has been launched by the House Ethics Committee into Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., amid allegations of sexual harassment and misused office resources.
The committee's announcement comes on the heels of a report from the New York Times claiming Meehan settled a complaint using thousands of taxpayer dollars after a former female aide alleged he made unwanted romantic advances.
Meehan, a member of the committee, was encouraged by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to repay taxpayers for the cost of the settlement. A spokesperson for Ryan claimed over the weekend Meehan would be removed from his post on the committee and that an investigation would be launched concerning the allegations.
Meehan himself also submitted a request that the committee investigate the allegations, the committee said in a statement, noting that the launch of the investigation was not an indication that wrongdoing had occurred.
Funds from Meehan’s congressional office fund were used for the settlement, which permitted the sum to be hidden as salary payments. It is uncertain the exact amount of the settlement.
Meehan has denied the allegation is true and his communications director John Elizandro issued a statement saying Meehan “has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism.”
Rep. John Ratcliff, R-Texas, will take over Meehan’s position on the committee.