Farenthold allegedly said the former staffer could show her nipples whenever she wanted to.
Ever since The Washington Post posted about the Office of Compliance doling out $17 million since 1997 to settle different violations across the Hill everyone has demanded the government unseal the deals.
Slowly it’s been happening! Politico has now reported that Rep. Blake Farenthold paid $84,000 towards a sexual harassment settlement in 2014.
Lauren Greene, the Texas Republican’s former communications director, sued her boss in December 2014 over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
Greene claimed in the lawsuit that another Farenthold aide told her the lawmaker had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene. She also claimed that Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” and told her in February 2014 that he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years.”
When she complained about comments Farenthold and a male staffer made to her, Greene said the congressman improperly fired her. She filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, but the case was later dropped after both parties reached a private settlement.
And just where did this money come from?! The Office of Compliance of course!
Greene alleged that his top aide Bob Haueter sexually harassed her, too:
“Farenthold regularly drank to excess, and because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘red head patrol to keep him out of trouble,’” Greene’s complaint alleged. “On one occasion, prior to February 2014, during a staff meeting at which [Greene] was in attendance, Farenthold disclosed that a female lobbyist had propositioned him for a ‘threesome.’”
The complaint added: “On June 10, 2014, in response to Haueter’s complaint about [Greene’s] shirt … which Haueter claimed was transparent and showed [Greene’s] nipples, Farenthold told [another woman staffer] that [Greene] could show her nipples whenever she wanted to,” Greene’s complaint asserted.
Greene complained to Farenthold about his behavior. After that, the lawmaker “marginalized and undermined” her in his office and eventually fired her “several weeks later.”
Farenthold and Greene prepared a statement, but never released it. Her lawyer Lee Alderman shared it with Politico:
“[A]fter it became clear that further litigating this case would come at great expense to all involved — including the taxpayers — the parties engaged in mediation with a court-appointed mediator,” the statement read. “After extensive discussion and consideration, the parties jointly agreed to accept the solution proposed by the mediator.”
The statement added: “The parties believe that the mediator’s solution saves the parties, and the taxpayers, significant sums that would be expended in further discovery and/or trial.”
The statement also includes a denial from Farenthold and a confidentiality agreement between both that doesn’t allow them to speak about the case.
All of this is starting to crash down. The wrongful dismissal suit between Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and a former employee provided more details about the Office of Compliance and the difficulty employees have to go through to complain about violations.
Then on Tuesday, The Washington Times revealed that Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) paid $48,395 to a former employee who accused him of showing up to work “frequently drunk and created a hostile work environment.” From the article it looks like it came from his own hush fund, but still. No matter where it comes from, these cases show that the lawmakers will do anything to keep their bad behavior behind the scenes.DONATE
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