Lawmaker behind secret $84K sexual harassment settlement unmasked
The filing deadline for someone to challenge Farenthold is Dec. 11.
Even if he isn’t challenged, Farenthold is likely to face repercussions from fellow House Republicans for using taxpayer money to settle a harassment claim. Recent reports, including in POLITICO, revealed that $17 million has been paid out quietly to settle workplace disputes.
Harper said Friday that only $360,000 of that total involved a House office.
That, however, won’t stem demands from conservatives that members who have been part of such settlements use their own personal money to reimburse the treasury.
Farenthold has a minimum net worth of $2.4 million, according to his most recent financial disclosure form.
Farenthold, a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, practice law for several years after college. He also worked as a radio disc jockey while in school. He later founded a web design and consulting firm before running for Congress.
Greene came to Capitol Hill as an intern in 2009, and was later promoted to full time in the office of ex-Rep. John Sullivan (R-Oak.). In early 2013, she moved to Farenthold’s office, where she stayed for 18 months before her July 2014 firing.
According to Greene’s complaint in court, Farenthold and his top aide, Bob Haueter, sexually harassed her, allegations that both men vehemently denied.
“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 ‘red head patrol to keep him out of trouble,’” Greene’s complaint alleged. “On one occasion, prior to February 2014, during a staff meeting at which [Greene] was in attendance, Farenthold disclosed that a female lobbyist had propositioned him for a ‘threesome.’”
The complaint added: “On June 10, 2014, in response to Haueter’s complaint about [Greene’s] shirt … which Haueter claimed was transparent and showed [Greene’s] nipples, Farenthold told [another woman staffer] that [Greene] could show her nipples whenever she wanted to,” Greene’s complaint asserted.
Greene said Farenthold avoided meeting one-on-one with her, and she also felt awkward about meeting with Farenthold.
When Greene complained to Farenthold directly in June 2014 about her problems with Haueter, she was “marginalized and undermined” by the Texas Republican, and then fired several weeks later, Greene asserted.
Greene took the mater to the Office of Compliance, which handles workplace disputes. She went through a month of mandatory counseling and mediation before filing suit.
John Bresnahan contributed to this report.