Things aren’t looking good for Republican Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania. After a New York Times report revealed he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint in January, and announcing a decision not to seek reelection, the hits just keep on coming.
The House Ethic panel voted today to open an official investigation into Meehan and his chief of staff Brian Schubert regarding the incident.
According to the Times report, Meehan professed his love for a female staffer – allegedly over ice cream, he says. He got salty with her and grew hostile when she rebuffed his advances. Apparently, he also got angry when she started a relationship with someone outside the office, which was well within her rights.
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He justified it with a lame quote to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Sometimes I have the tendency to lash out to others on the staff. You go hardest on the ones that you care the most about.”
Oh, yeah. The lashing out was because you “cared about her.”
Meehan denied that there was any harassment going on, just a lot of caring. He said the payment was severance, not a settlement. Potato, potah-to.
Meehan isn’t the first high profile lawmaker to go down in the wake of the #MeToo movement and he certainly won’t be the last. At least the House Ethics Committee is doing the right thing by getting an investigation on the record. Maybe it will make the next man in a position of power think twice about abusing it.