Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold made headlines earlier this month when it surfaced that in 2014, he had reportedly reached a tax-payer funded settlement in a sexual harassment case with his former communications director, Lauren Greene. The settlement was reportedly reached in order to save taxpayers from even greater legal fees, although the monetary amount of the settlement itself was unknown.
Now, another former employee, 31-year-old Michael Rekola, has come forward with accusations about a hostile work environment while working for the Texas Republican as a communications director in 2015. In light of these new allegations, Farenthold has announced that he will not be seeking reelection in the upcoming midterms.
The news that Farenthold won’t seek re-election follows a CNN report Wednesday that a former senior aide to the congressman has approached the House Ethics Committee to share a damning account of working for Farenthold, with the intent of describing the congressman as verbally abusive and sexually demeaning — and his congressional office as an intensely hostile environment that drove the aide to physical and emotional distress.
Farenthold is accused of lashing out at his employees in fits of rage and regularly referring to them as f*cktards,” as well as some particularly disgusting remarks Rekola says the governor said about his fiancée just before their wedding. According to Rekola, Farenthold told him, “Better have your fiancée blow you before she walks down the aisle — it will be the last time,” in addition to joking about whether or not his now-wife should wear white on their wedding day. Rekola gave his two-weeks upon returning from his wedding.