GOP lawmaker resigns so he can avoid an investigation into sexual harassment settlement
Congressman Pat Meehan (R-PA), via his reelection campaign website.

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), a member of the House Ethics Committee who has used taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims made against him, announced on Friday that he would be resigning immediately.

Meehan said that, while he believed he would have been cleared of any wrongdoing, he wanted to resign so that he could avoid an Ethics Committee investigation into his conduct.

"I also did not want to put my staff through the rigors of an Ethics Committee investigation and believed it was best for them to have a head start on new employment rather than being caught up in an inquiry," he said. "And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff."

Meehan also said that he would reimburse taxpayers for $39,000 he paid out to a former staffer who had accused him of harassment.

"I did not want to leave with any question of violating the trust of taxpayers," Meehan said in explaining his decision to make the payment, which will be delivered within a month of his leaving office.

In the wake of the harassment allegations, Meehan announced that he would not be running for another term, although he had initially said that he would stay on until the end of his term.