PA Congressman steps down amid harassment scandal, owes the treasury nearly $40000

PA Rep Patrick Meehan Resigns, Pledges to Pay Back $39000 Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

Congressman Pat Meehan announces resignation

In late January, Rep. Meehan announced that he would not seek re-election.

In January, The New York Times reported that Meehan used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle a misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him previous year of making unwanted romantic overtures to her.

That same month, Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, retired as the longest-serving House member in the face of an Ethics Committee probe of harassment claims by former aides.

"Though I wish my time in Congress would have finished in a more satisfying manner, I am proud of our accomplishments and thank the residents of my district for their confidence in me over the last eight years", Meehan said.

Meehan says in a resignation letter that his decision is in the best interest of constituents and will avoid the "rigors" and expense of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

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"And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to the taxpayers and committee staff".

Rep. Meehan said in a statement that he will pay $39,000 to the U.S. Treasury to reimburse for the severance package that was made from his office account.

The Cook Political Report labels Pennsylvania's Seventh District, which Meehan has represented since 2010, as leaning Democratic in the upcoming election.

However, the settlement had been kept secret, and Meehan's office had long refused to answer repeated questions about how much taxpayer money Meehan paid out in it.

Meehan described the woman as a "soul mate" and said he developed strong feelings for her, but always kept the relationship professional.

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Meehan earlier announced he would not seek re-election.

The statement said Meehan "has no future plans to discuss at this time".

The Pennsylvania representative also alerted the state's governor, Tom Wolf, writing him that "it has been an honor and a privilege" to serve his constituents. "That special election date must be at least 60 days after the vacancy occurs but could be any date after the 60-day minimum".

Meehan maintained he never was unfaithful to his wife.

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