By Isabel Indresano 4/7/2018
Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold announced his resignation from Congress on Friday, effective immediately. The announcement comes months after reports that he had used taxpayer money to pay off staff members who accused him of sexual harassment. The 56-year-old representative has been serving Texas’s 27th congressional district since 2011.
After he resigned, the National Republican Congressional Committee asked him to repay the money he spent to settle the complaints against him.
Lauren Greene, the aide who reported the allegations, received $84,000 after suing Farenthold for gender discrimination in 2014. The settlement came from a government fund devoted to the resolution of workplace conflict
Farenthold denied the accusations of misconduct but did apologize for creating a hostile work environment with his use of foul language. He has committed to paying back the $84,000, according to a statement from a spokeswoman for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Farenthold’s Twitter account was deleted within minutes of the announcement of his resignation.
“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,” said Farenthold. ”Leaving my service in the House, I’m able to look back at the entirety of my career in public office and say that it was well worthwhile.”