DISTURBING

Report: GOP Lawmaker Paid Settlement to Ex-Aide for ‘Love Letter’ Overtures

A Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania tasked with investigating sexual harassment in Congress used taxpayer funds to settle his own misconduct complaint, The New York Times reports. Citing people familiar with the settlement, the Times says Patrick Meehan, a member of the House Ethics Committee, which has been investigating sexual misconduct claims against lawmakers, was accused of numerous unwanted romantic overtures to a much younger aide. The unnamed former aide alleges Meehan “professed his romantic desires” for her both in person and in a written letter, according to the report. When she didn’t reciprocate, he allegedly grew hostile and jealous of her new boyfriend, ultimately prompting her to quit. Meehan’s office and congressional lawyers are said to have initially accused her of misinterpreting his behavior when she filed a sexual harassment complaint. She later received a settlement for an undisclosed amount from Meehan’s congressional office fund after signing a nondisclosure agreement, according to the report.