U.S. Treasury

Ethics Panel Ends Inquiry, Urges Ex-Lawmaker to Repay $84K

The House Ethics Committee says a panel investigating former Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold has ended its work now that he has resigned.

The committee's chairman and ranking member revealed Thursday that the panel investigating Farenthold was scheduled to hold a vote Wednesday. But Farenthold resigned five days earlier. As a result, the panel lost jurisdiction over him.

Farenthold had said he engaged in no wrongdoing when he settled a lawsuit in which a former aide accused him of sexual harassment. But public focus intensified after congressional sources said he'd paid the $84,000 settlement with taxpayer money.

At one point, Farenthold said he would repay the money to the U.S. Treasury. The Ethics Committee says "we encourage him in the strongest possible terms to uphold that promise."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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