Last year, months after he challenged female GOP Senators to a duel for not repealing the Affordable Care Act (and years after being photographed in his pajamas), Rep. Blake Farenthold was discovered to have used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment suit filed by Lauren Greene, his former communications director. After Michael Rekola, another of Farenthold’s former communications directors, accused the Congressman of creating a hostile workplace, Farenthold announced he would not seek re-election in 2018 and walked back his claims that he would reimburse the country for the sexual harassment settlement. In another twist, Farenthold has abruptly resigned, effective immediately.
“While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it’s time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve,” Farenthold said in a statement. “Leaving my service in the House, I’m able to look back at the entirety of my career in public office and say that it was well worthwhile.”
After Farenthold announced his resignation, the National Republican Congressional Committee requested once again that he pay back the $84,000.
The House Ethics Committee announced last year that it would be investigating Farenthold’s use of taxpayer funds to settle his sexual harassment suit, but the findings of that inquiry have not yet been released.