Rep. Patrick Meehan resigns amid sexual harassment probe

U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan

U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan

Rep. Patrick Meehan, the Pennsylvania Republican who in January announced he would not run for re-election this fall after being accused of sexual harassment, resigned Friday from the House. Wolf now has 10 days to set a special election to fill the remainder of Meehan's term, although the election can not be held for 60 days, which would mean it can not be aligned with the spring primary. According to reports, Meehan repeatedly harassed the younger woman and grew hostile towards her when she refused his sexual advances.

Four-term Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan had already made a decision to not seek re-election this fall.

"I will pay 39,000.00 dollars to the U.S. Treasury to reimburse for the severance payment that was made from my office account".

He said he became upset when he learned the woman, who worked for him for seven years, was involved with someone else. It released a redrawn congressional map, those new boundaries would not take effect until the general election in November.

He later called the woman his "soul mate" in an interview with WHYY, claiming he had a deep affection for her but never displayed romantic feelings for her.

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"I have stayed to fight for important priorities like fully funding our troops, increasing support for medical research and preserving promising clean energy solutions, and now that work is accomplished", Meehan said.

The Times reported that she had lodged her complaint last summer with Congress' Office of Compliance after Meehan became angry towards her and she left the job. The nominees for a special election are chosen by party leaders, rather than through a direct primary election. The date of the election must be at least 60 days from the date the governor makes that announcement. There won't be an official primary ballot, as the political parties will pick their own candidates during nominating conventions.

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the state's congressional lines unconstitutional. It includes portions of Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster and Montgomery counties.

Rep. Steve Stivers, who heads up the House Republicans' campaign arm, told USA Today that he respected Meehan's decision and was "pleased to hear he will pay back the taxpayer money used for his office's severance payment. We must continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard".

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