May 20, 2018

GOP Rep. Pat Meehan Won't Seek Re-Election

28 January 2018, 01:54 | Rufus Hill

GOP Won't Drop Pennsylvania Rep. Meehan, Who Settled Sex Case With Taxpayer Funds

Congressman saw aide as 'soul mate,' but denies misconduct

Meehan's planned retirement comes less than a week after the New York Times revealed that the Pennsylvania Republican had used taxpayer dollars to pay for a sexual harassment settlement with a much-younger former aid.

Meehan graduated from Bowdoin with degrees in Government and Legal Studies and Classics and went on to receive a law degree from Temple University.

He still holds that he acted appropriately with his aide despite have a close relationship with her. The committee will conduct its own investigation of the allegations. He also told Meehan to repay the money, his office said.

In a statement, Meehan denied allegations of harassment, saying he has always treated all colleagues with "respect and professionalism". Meehan reportedly attempted to pursue a romantic relationship with her after she entered a serious relationship, then acted hostile toward her after she rejected him.

After filing a complaint previous year, the unnamed former aide reached a confidential agreement with Meehan's office, which granted her an undisclosed fee which would be paid from his congressional office fund.

Four members of Congress have either resigned or said they won't run again amid complaints from women about sexual misconduct.

Meehan, 62, is now subject to a review by the House Ethics Committee, which he sat on until the reports. On Tuesday, Meehan said he viewed the woman as a "soul mate" but denied sexually harassing her. Now with Meehan not seeking re-election, the field could grow even bigger.

Meehan's decision came as he faced calls from Democrats and rallies outside his district office demanding his resignation, and as Republicans began to lose confidence that Meehan could win re-election in the closely divided district in moderate southeastern Pennsylvania where Republicans fear an anti-Trump wave.

Pennsylvania's 7th District includes portions of Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Berks and Lancaster counties.

Adding to the bad news, Meehan represents the 7th Congressional District, it's the one aptly described as looking like Donald kicking Goofy and accused of being one of the most gerrymandered districts in the country.

Gale would join U.S. Navy veteran and longtime volunteer firefighter Joe Billie on the ballot for the Republican primary if he does jump into the race.

Six Democrats - Daylin Leach, Drew McGinty, Elizabeth Moro, Dan Muroff, Shelly Chauncey and Molly Sheehan - have announced plans to seek their party nomination in the 7th District.

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