Rep. Blake Farenthold still owes the taxpayers $84,000 for the sexual harassment settlement he paid with their dime.
Beleaguered Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) announced Friday that he is resigning from Congress, effective immediately.
“I know in my heart, it’s time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve,” he said.
Notably, Farenthold did not mention anything about the real reason his political career is over: that he was caught using $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle workplace sexual harassment allegations.
Farenthold was accused by former staffer Lauren Greene of saying he had “wet dreams” about her and inviting her to show him her nipples. He had already agreed to retire at the end of his term, but has been considering resigning for at least a month in order to avoid a House Ethics Committee investigation.
Also missing from the video was any mention of the promise he made last December to reimburse the taxpayers for that settlement. Despite the fact that he is a millionaire, he has since refused to pay back that money, despite pressure on both himself and House Speaker Paul Ryan to make him honor his word.
Neither Farenthold’s nor Ryan’s office has commented on the matter. However, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Steve Stivers has urged him to do it, saying, “I hope Blake is true to his word.”
Farenthold is one of many lawmakers on Capitol Hill in recent months who resigned over sexual misconduct allegations, including Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and John Conyers (D-MI), and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).
It is abundantly clear that Farenthold feels no remorse for his actions. His resignation is not an act of penitence, but of evasion. He wants to escape real accountability for his actions — and the public should not let him fade away so easily.