US Congressman removed from House Ethics Committee

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Meehan, who is married and a father of three, is now serving his third term in Congress and is a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee. According to the Times she started the complaint process, but that complaint was met with an aggressive pushback by representatives of Meehan's office and lawyers, and the aide paid legal costs even after her job and ended up moving back with her parents before starting a new life overseas. Their friendship took an awkward turn when the woman got into a serious relationship, prompting Meehan to profess his attraction to her both in person and in a letter.

Life in the office became untenable, so she initiated the complaint process, started working from home and ultimately left the job.

The story, published online Saturday by The New York Times, cited unnamed people who said the Republican representative from Pennsylvania used thousands of dollars from his congressional office fund to settle the sexual harassment complaint the ex-aide filed last summer to the congressional Office of Compliance.

In a statement to CBS News, Meehnan denied the allegations against and said that he has "always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism". Meehan is trying to victimize her client twice by revealing the woman's identity and litigating the case in the media, Ronickher said.

Although Meehan, a former U.S. Attorney, was seen as facing a challenge in the 2018 race, his large cash reserves would likely have made him a tough incumbent to beat.

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The Times also wrote of Meehan's record in Congress that "he has sponsored legislation mandating the reporting of sexual violence, and he is a member of a bipartisan congressional task force to end such violence".

The exact amount of the settlement could not be determined, partly because Meehan's office paid it from a congressional office fund that allows such payments to be disguised as salary and reported months after they were made. A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Meehan's ouster in a statement to HuffPost.

"Every step of the process was handled ethically and appropriately, " Meehan's office said.

He said he would be meeting with Meehan's people and Republican leaders this week to discuss the situation. Several of the Democrats, including Dan Muroff, Drew McGinty and Molly Sheehan, Saturday called on him to get out of the race and resign office after the report first broke Saturday. Muroff said in a statement.

"I think this mortally wounds his candidacy for re-election", Delaware County Democratic Chairman David Landau said. "Meehan was voted in to advocate for the best interests of the 7th district, but instead used his power to personally and financially attack a staffer".