A Pennsylvania Republican who is taking a lead role in Congress in fighting sexual harassment, settled his own case and used thousands of taxpayers money to do so, according to reports.
The Times reported that the aide was decades younger than Meehan and regarded him as a father figure, but after she began a relationship with someone outside the office a year ago Meehan expressed his romantic interest in person and in a letter.
Meehan was removed from the Ethics Committee on the same day that hundreds of thousands of women and their male supporters marched on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration, partly spurred by the #MeToo and #TimesUp social media campaigns decrying sexual miconduct and harasment.
Meehan reportedly took a keen interest in the aide's personal life, and sources told the New York Times the aide considered Meehan "as a father figure". He then appeared to become jealous when she entered a serious relationship a year ago, the Times reported.
"Life in the office became untenable, so she initiated the complaint process, started working from home and ultimately left the job", The Times reported.
Ryan, R-Wisconsin, made the motion on the heels of a Times story published online Saturday that alleged that Meehan used office funds settle the complaint after a former aide accused him of making unwanted romantic gestures to her previous year.
Meehan's communications director, John Elizandro, requested that the settlement's confidentiality agreement be waived "to ensure a full and open airing of all the facts", according to the report. She says Meehan demanded the confidentiality provisions and is trying to victimize her client twice.
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"Mr. Meehan should resign and the U.S. House of Representatives should investigate how this matter was handled from top to bottom".
Ryan apparently is not calling for Meehan's resignation at this time.
"In this case, the employee, represented by counsel, made certain assertions of inappropriate behavior which were investigated", it continued. Strong said the House will soon pass major reforms to how the House handles sexual harassment cases, "and the speaker will apply these new standards to the allegations made against Mr. Meehan".
The settlement was paid from Meehan's congressional office fund, meaning it could be disguised as salary and reported months later.
"The congressman is hopeful that they will agree to this request for full transparency".
"I think this mortally wounds his candidacy for re-election", Delaware County Democratic Chairman David Landau said.