FILE – In this March 20, 2013, file photo, Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans love cutting taxes, especially if they were authored by a president named Barack Obama. But as they push their wobbly effort to erase his health care overhaul, they’re divided over whether to repeal the levies the law imposed to pay for its expanded coverage for millions of Americans. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Representative Patrick Meehan had already announced he would not run for reelection. He was accused of making unwanted advances on an aid and using funds allocated to his congressional office to pay the settlement. Now he’s called it quits.
“With the knowledge I would not be standing for another term, I have decided that stepping down now is in the interest of the constituents I have been honored to serve. I have stayed to fight for important priorities like fully funding our troops, increasing support for medical research and preserving promising clean energy solutions. And now that work is accomplished.
“While I do believe I would be exonerated of any wrongdoing, I also did not want to put my staff through the rigors of an Ethics Committee investigation and believed it was best for them to have a head start on new employment rather than being caught up in an inquiry. And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff.”
Mr. Meehan, 62, had already said he would not run again as the House Ethics Committee investigated the sexual harassment allegations and his use of taxpayer money to settle them.
Mr. Meehan, a father of three, had faced increasing pressure to step down after revelations that a former aide decades his junior had filed a complaint against him last summer, and that Mr. Meehan had used his congressional office fund to pay her thousands of dollars to settle it. She had accused him of making unwanted romantic overtures to her after he learned that she had developed a serious relationship with a man closer to her age. After the aide rebuffed Mr. Meehan, he became hostile, her complaint said.
Meehan’s seat was going to be tough to retain under the new Pennsylvania redistricting map and shedding Meehan now might be the GOP’s best chance to retain it.