Publicado: Sáb, Abril 07, 2018
Espectáculos | Por Manuelo Venegas

Central Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold resigns from Congress

Central Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold resigns from Congress

"I had no idea how to run a congressional office, and as a result, I allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional", Farenthold said in December.

"While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it's time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve", the four-term congressman said in a statement.

Embattled Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, announced Friday that he has resigned from Congress, months after reports surfaced that he had used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim by a former staffer. Farenthold, who began serving in Congress in 2011, is the latest of several USA lawmakers who have stepped down or not sought re-election after being accused of sexual harassment.

The House in February passed landmark legislation to overhaul Capitol Hill's sexual harassment policies following a string of recent revelations that multiple lawmakers engaged in misconduct.

There is, however, one unsettled matter: Farenthold publicly promised in December to repay taxpayers for the $84,000 that was paid to his former communications director, Lauren Greene, who alleged in a 2014 lawsuit that he had discussed having sexual fantasies and "wet dreams" about her and that he had fired her after she complained about his behavior. It accused Farenthold of repeatedly complimenting her appearance, then joking that he hoped the comments wouldn't be construed as sexual harassment. Farenthold has been the subject of a House Ethics Committee review.

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Farenthold was first elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, defeating Democratic Rep. Solomon Ortiz. But his district has since been redrawn to make it more reliably Republican - including removing many areas along the Texas-Mexico border which had favored Democrats.

In his video, flanked by an American flag and a Texas state flag, he added: "You know, I look forward to staying in touch with everyone".

In his resignation announcement, Farenthold made no mention of the accusations against him, but said that he would be "able to look back at the entirety of my career in public office and say that it was well worthwhile". It's been an honor and a privilege to serve.

Weissert reported from Austin, Texas.

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