Already embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that forced him to withdraw from a reelection bid, Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) abruptly announced his resignation Friday.
“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,” he said in a statement. “And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff.”
“I recognize that there are constituents who are disappointed in the manner in which I handled the situation that lead to my decision not to seek reelection and wish I had done better by them,” he added.
Meehan was already under fire for reportedly using $39,000 of taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims from a former aide. He promised to pay back the money, though he refers to it as “severance,” denying any wrongdoing.