A settlement reached by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold and a former staffer who accused him of sexual harassment was paid with taxpayers’ money — and this is how Twitter reacted.
AUSTIN — The 2015 settlement reached by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, and a former aide who accused the congressman of sexual harassment was paid with taxpayers’ money, the lawyer for the former staffer said Friday.
“Any settlement paid under the Congressional Accountability Act is paid using federal dollars, which are taxpayers’ dollars,” Washington lawyer Leslie D. Alderman III told the USA TODAY Network.
Alderman represented Lauren Greene, who was Farenthold’s communications director until she was fired in July 2014. In December of that year, she filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing Farenthold of making sexually charged statements toward her and engaging in off-color behavior.
In her complaint, Greene alleged that another staffer had told her that “Farenthold had admitted to being attracted” to her and had said he’d had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her.
The complaint also states that Farenthold had said during a staff meeting that “a female lobbyist had propositioned him for a ‘threesome.’ ” The court document further alleged that “Farenthold regularly drank to excess, and because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘redhead patrol’ to keep him out of trouble.”
Farenthold at the time called the salacious allegations “outrageous” and said they were the product of an unhappy former staffer. The suit was settled in November 2015 and the terms were not disclosed.
Through an anonymous source, the Washington, D.C., newsletter Politico reported Friday that the terms called for Greene to be paid $84,000.
On Friday, Farenthold said he could not discuss the matter in detail.
“While I 100 percent support more transparency with respect to claims against members of Congress, I can neither confirm nor deny that settlement involved my…