On Thursday morning, The Hill reported that Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) will not be running for reelection. He will be retiring after his term is up at the end of 2018.
Rep. Farenthold reportedly already spoke to the GOP leaders about his departure. He talked to Speaker Paul Ryan as well as the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Steve Stivers.
This is not a surprising announcement, as Farenthold has been in a legal battle since 2014. Additionally, the House Ethics Committee announced that they would be investigating Farenthold’s behavior.
The lawsuit came from former staffer Lauren Greene who was fired in 2014. Later that year, she filed a lawsuit against Farenthold for harassment.
According to Politico, the lawsuit was settled using $84,000 of taxpayer money in 2015. The representative said that he would repay that money, and he continued to deny the harassment allegations against him.
He said, “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m happy to visit with anybody who has a concern and explain the facts to the extent that I am allowed to under the settlement agreement.”
However, Greene’s accusations were not the only ones made against Farenthold. Another former staffer, Elizabeth Peace, said that he invited a hostile work environment.
She said, “He allowed the hostility in his office to continue. He allowed us to work in a place that was just emotionally damaging, and that should never be allowed in any office.”
An ABC News affiliate was the first to report Farenthold’s retirement, though the Congressman has yet to make a statement about it. We will continue to update here as more information is made available.
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