‘I have been advised by my attorneys not to repay that…’
(John Wynne, Liberty Headlines) Representative Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) resigned from office last month after it was revealed that he used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
When news about the settlement first broke in December, Farenthold vowed he would pay the money back.
But according to the Huffington Post, Farenthold is reneging on his promise.
He won’t pay back the $84,000 – he says, on the advice of his lawyers.
“I will say this on the record: I have been advised by my attorneys not to repay that,” Farenthold told ABC in a phone call. “That’s why it hasn’t been repaid.”
He didn’t elaborate on his attorneys’ reasoning.
It’s not like Farenthold, a lawyer himself, is in dire financial straits.
On Monday, he announced that he had landed a new job as a lobbyist for the Calhoun Port Authority in Port Lavaca, Texas.
The Huffington Post says the job includes “increasing its visibility with federal lawmakers and the Trump administration.”
His annual salary is expected to be around $160,000.
That’s slightly down from the $174,000 salary he received as a Congressman.
One of Farenthold’s former colleagues is telling lawmakers to shun him.
“I would hope Republicans would stand up for what’s right and say he is not allowed in their offices until he pays up,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).
Rep. Farenthold resigned just before a House Ethics Committee was about to rule against him in the investigation into the sexual harassment and misuse of finances claims.
In the 2014 suit against him, a former aide alleged that Farenthold frequently showed up to work drunk and made inappropriate comments, telling another aide that she could “show her nipples whenever she wanted to” and that he had “wet dreams” about her.
The entire Huffington Post article is available here.