Rep. Blake Farenthold used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokesman — the only known sitting member of Congress to have used a little-known congressional account to pay an accuser, people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.
Lauren Greene, the Texas Republican’s former communications director, sued her boss in December 2014 over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
Greene said another Farenthold aide told her the lawmaker said he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene. She also claimed that Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” and told her in February 2014 that he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years.”
When she complained about comments Farenthold and a male staffer made to her, Greene said the congressman improperly fired her. She filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, but the case was later dropped after both parties reached a private settlement.
No information was ever released on that agreement.
House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) told GOP lawmakers in a closed-door Friday morning meeting that only one House office in the past five years had used an Office of Compliance account to settle a sexual harassment complaint. Harper said in that one instance, the settlement totaled $84,000.
In a statement for this story, Farenthold would neither confirm or deny that his office was responsible for that $84,000 payout.
Greene’s lawyer, Les Alderman of Alderman, Devorsetz & Hora PLLC, also would not say whether Greene was the woman who received the $84,000 Harper referred to.
But in a joint statement both Greene and Farenthold prepared at the time of the settlement but never released — a copy of which was shared with POLITICO by Alderman on Friday — the two confirmed they reached a deal in part to save taxpayer dollars.
Anything to save taxpayer dollars (i.e. the money Republicans like Blake Farenthold take from the poor to give to the rich).