Pa. Congressman Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Charges

Pa. Congressman Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Charges

Meehan said in a statement that he felt he would've been exonerated of the allegations but didn't want to put his staff through an investigation. But his resignation was effective immediately, and would end the ethics panel inquiry. The complaint by a former aide three decades younger than Meehan cameto light January 20 in a New York Times report, citing unnamed people. "That payment will be made within 30 days of my resignation from the House of Representatives. And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff", said Meehan.

Katz said her client traveled long distances, shared "reams" of documents, and spent many hours being questioned by Ethics Committee staff in the expectation that Meeehan would be sanctioned for his misbehavior.

"I recognize that there are constituents who are disappointed in the manner in which I handled the situation that lead to my decision not to seek re-election and wish I had done better by them", Meehan said. She said the incidents came as she began a relationship with another man and planned to leave Meehan's office.

Congressman Patrick Meehan had already decided not to seek re-election.

While residents of the 7th - including a large swath of Chester County which will be part of the new 6th District - will be left with no sitting Congress member until a new one can be elected, Meehan said that constituent services will continue.

The woman's lawyer said the allegations were a "serious sexual harassment claim".

By law, Meehan's departure will trigger a special election in his district, with the date set by Gov. Wolf. He is required to do so within 10 days of receiving the resignation, and the election will be held at least 60 days later.

Meehan's congressional district, the 7th, encompassed the area around Philadelphia.

With the retirements of Meehan, Dent and Costello and the new congressional map imposed by the state Supreme Court, Berks County won't send any incumbents to Congress in the next legislative session.

Debra Katz, an attorney for the woman, blasted Meehan's decision to resign, saying he did so not to spare his staff or taxpayers but rather to evade accountability for his own actions. While continuing to deny any wrongdoing, Meehan promised to reimburse taxpayers the $39,000 his office paid the woman.

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