Misconduct allegations against Congressman Pat Meehan


House Speaker Paul Ryan has ordered an ethics investigation. The paper says Meehan was hostile toward a former female aide, who they say rejected his romantic advances. After filing a complaint previous year alleging sexual harassment, the woman reached a confidential agreement with Meehan's office. She later reached a confidential agreement with Meehan's office that included a settlement for an undisclosed amount to be paid from Meehan's congressional office fund.

A Meehan spokesman said the Congressman denied the harassment claim, had always treated colleagues professionally and handled the complaint "ethically and appropriately".

Meehan, 62, is a married father of three.

Meehan is a former federal prosecutor serving his fourth term in Congress.

Muroff, one of the Democrats seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Meehan in the 7th District race, quickly attacked Meehan Saturday.

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The pushback from Meehan and subsequent investigation destroyed the woman's life, the Times reports, forcing her to move back in with her parents amid mounting legal fees. The report is based on 10 interviews the New York Times conducted with the former aide's friends, former colleagues, and those who worked around the office.

The woman eventually started working from home and then left the job, The New York Times reported.

She said that Meehan knows her client is a private person who does not wish to reveal her identity. The payments were also apparently reported months after they were made. But people familiar with the payout said it was thousands of dollars. Meehan has been asked to return the taxpayers' money.

The statement went on, saying that Meehan continues to call for "real reform to the process for resolving complaints so that those who are truly wronged are given a fair forum to be heard and vindicated, and those accused are provided with an ability to respond to baseless accusations".

A spokesperson for Ryan confirmed that Meehan would step down.

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However he made clear that his decision did not stop victims bringing their own challenges against the Parole Board. Worboys, 60, was jailed in 2009 for 19 separate offences including rape and sexual assault.

Ryan spoke with Meehan Saturday and the Pennsylvania Republican agreed to submit himself to the Ethics Committee for review. Ryan is also removing Meehan from the committee.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf called on Meehan to resign after the report, much as he did after allegations arose against Leach.

Meehan's former aide declined multiple requests for comment. Wolf said in a statement.

Strong added: "Though Mr Meehan has denied the allegations, they must be fully and immediately investigated by the House ethics committee".

Meehan's alleged behavior comes amid an ongoing national conversation about sexual misconduct, especially in the workplace. "His actions are appalling and today I am calling on Meehan to immediately resign from Congress".

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