Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) is the only member of Congress to use an Office of Compliance account to settle a sex harassment claim since 2012, said Politico on Friday.
Farenthold’s office paid $84,000 out of the account to his former spokeswoman Lauren Greene after she sued the congressman in December of 2014 alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
On Friday morning, House Administration Chairman Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) revealed to ABC News that the Office of Compliance has paid out six claims since the beginning of fiscal 2013, but only one complaint involved sexual harassment, an $84,000 settlement.
Within hours, Politico identified Farenthold as the congressman named in the settlement.
Farenthold released a statement that said, in part, “While I 100 percent support more transparency with respect to claims against members of Congress, I can neither confirm nor deny that settlement involved my office as the Congressional Accountability Act prohibits me from answering that question.”
Greene claimed in her complaint against Farenthold that the congressman was frequently drunk, which made him “flirty” and free with his hands. He and his top aide Bob Haueter were accused of sexually aggressive remarks and behavior in Greene’s suit.
“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,’” said Greene’s complaint. “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 congressman allegedly shared his “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene with other staffers and “regularly made comments designed to gauge whether [Greene] was interested in a sexual relationship,” the suit said.