Congressman who resigned after sex harassment settlement has new job

05_15_Farenthold

Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier urged House Speaker Paul Ryan to make Farenthold repay the settlement funds while he was still a congressman, but she was unsuccessful. And now he is back.

Blake Farenthold says he will not repay $84,000 in taxpayer money used to settle a sexual harassment suit against him. He is now the port's full-time legislative liaison, and his job responsibilities include increasing the port's visibility with federal lawmakers and the Trump administration.

"I'm starting a new job today that has an hour-and-a-half commute", said Farenthold.

Blake Farenthold, who resigned in disgrace a month ago amid a sexual harassment scandal, has a new job. "But I also don't want the taxpayers to be on the hook for this, and I want to be able to talk about it and fix the system without people saying, 'Blake, you benefited from this system'".

It is generally illegal for a former member of Congress to immediately become a lobbyist, but there are exceptions for those lobbying for state or local government agencies.

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Farenthold then made clear that he has no intention of repaying an $84,000 taxpayer settlement stemming from a 2014 complaint by a former congressional aide alleging sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation.

His new salary will be $160,000 and the company told the Caller Times that he will be promoting the agenda of the port, which serves as a shipping channel into the Gulf of Mexico.

"Since I didn't call it and don't think it's necessary, I shouldn't be asked to pay for it", Farenthold wrote. Farenthold, a Republican, represented District 27 in Congress until last month; the district stretches from the coast to Bastrop County.

In December 2017, Farenthold promised to return the money but never did.

There is still no word on why the former congressman was such a good hire.

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