Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold won't seek reelection next year, two Republicans said Thursday, adding his name to the list of lawmakers leaving Congress amid sexual harassment allegations that have cost powerful men their jobs in politics, the arts and other fields.
The accusations against Farenthold surfaced in 2014, when a former aide sued him alleging sexually suggestive comments and behavior and said she'd been fired after she complained. The lawmaker said he engaged in no wrongdoing and the case was settled in 2015.
But the House Ethics Committee said last week that it would investigate Farenthold after congressional sources said he'd paid an $84,000 settlement using taxpayers' money. Though Farenthold said he'd reimburse the Treasury Department, such payments have drawn public criticism from people saying lawmakers should use their own money for such settlements.