Meehan denies harassment accusations, says he viewed former aide as 'soul mate'

25 January, 2018, 02:08 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Source CNN

The New York Times reported Saturday that Meehan used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim against him for an undisclosed amount. Meehan was removed from the committee after the New York Times report published on Saturday.

He also confirmed that he lashed out in his office when learning of the woman's relationship with someone else and attributed the episode to the tension surrounding the debate around the Affordable Care Act, the Inquirer reported. You are and have been a complete partner to me and you have brought me much happiness."In the letter, he also argues that there is more to come for the two of them".

He said he later expressed his feelings of affection to the aide, and sent a handwritten letter congratulating her on her new relationship, to try to clear the air "to make sure that I didn't let that kind of thing which was growing just as a natural result of a relationship to step into a place that it ought not be".

My guess is that after reading Meehan's interview with the Inquirer, Republicans won't be giving him the benefit of the doubt for much longer.

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'Throughout his career he has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism, ' Meehan's office said.

He told the Inquirer that he had told the woman he was "a happily married man and I was not interested in a relationship, particularly not any sexual relationship, but we were soul mates. I think that the idea of soul mate is that sort of person that out go through remarkable experiences together".

A spokesperson for Meehan said called the payout "a settlement" while Meehan has called it a "severance agreement".

Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania reportedly settled a sexual harassment complaint from a decades-younger female aide previous year.

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The former Meehan aide accused him of turning hostile toward her after she rejected his romantic advances, which, the Times story said, included the handwritten letter.

Meehan has said he plans to run for re-election in the 2018 midterms. Congress is now considering sweeping changes to the law, including disclosing the identity of any member who pays a settlement, prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars to settle a complaint, as well as clarifying that a member may be a victim of harassment from another member.

Meehan justified keeping the payment secret saying he wanted to protect "his and his aide's privacy". The settlements are typically listed as normal employee compensation, with no indication of anything amiss.

"As I walked this evening and glanced over at the White House I smiled at the irony that on a day that I had to say "no" to the President and to the Speaker of the House, I got to say "yes" to you", Meehan wrote.

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The Republican representative who reportedly paid off a sexual harassment accuser with taxpayer money claimed Tuesday the woman "invited" his communication, going so far as to call her his "soul mate". Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican, and Ruben Kihuen, a Nevada Democrat, for allegations of sexual harassment.

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