Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is now demanding that disgraced former Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) pay for the special election required after he resigned amid accusations of workplace impropriety and a taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlement.
According to a Dallas News report Wednesday afternoon, Abbott is requesting that Farenthold save taxpayers the cost of the special election after he used $84,000 of their money to pay for a sexual harassment settlement in 2014. Farenthold has reportedly said that he would reimburse the money, but has failed to do so.
Abbott sent Farenthold a letter detailing his demands on Wednesday. “While you have publicly offered to reimburse the $84,000 in taxpayer funds you wrongly used to settle a sexual harassment claim, there is no legal recourse requiring you to give that money back to Congress,” he wrote. “This seat must be filled, and the counties and taxpayers in the 27th Congressional District should not again pay the price for your actions.”
He requested a response by May 2.
The governor’s letter comes on the heels of an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that a special election was required earlier than the standard November 6 election to fill the seat, in order to facilitate rehabilitations in the area still devastated by Hurricane Harvey. According to the governor’s letter, the special election will be held on June 30.