GOP Rep. Farenthold Used Taxpayer Funds for $84K Sexual-Harassment Settlement

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) used taxpayer money to pay his former communications director a sexual-harassment settlement, Politico reported Friday. Lauren Greene sued Farenthold in December 2014, accusing him of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and creating a hostile work environment. She claimed in the suit that Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” and told her that he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years.” Another male aide allegedly told Greene that the congressman said he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her. She said she was fired after making complaints. Farenthold is the only lawmaker in the past five years to have used a House Office of Compliance account to settle a sexual harassment complaint. The Office of Congressional Ethics said there was no “substantial reason to believe” the sexual harassment or discrimination claims against Farenthold after the office investigated the case. The settlement reportedly used $84,000 from the funds.