Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan abruptly announced his immediate resignation Friday — amid an ethics probe into his treatment of a female staffer whom he described as his “soul mate.”
The Republican congressman — who in January announced he wouldn’t be seeking re-election — will also pay back the $39,000 taxpayer dollars he shelled out to the former aide in a settlement, he pledged in a resignation letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The far younger staffer alleged that the 62-year-old married father of three pursued a romantic relationship with her and became hostile when she turned him down.
When news of the incident and subsequent payout broke in January, Meehan denied any wrongdoing, but offered a bizarre explanation: “I was not interested in a relationship, particularly not any sexual relationship, but we were soul mates.”
Meehan on Friday maintained he did nothing wrong, but that he just wanted to spare his staff and taxpayers from the ongoing House Ethics Committee investigation into his conduct.
“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 wrote.
“And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff.”
In his resignation letter, Meehan thanked his wife for her support and sacrifices and said he wished he had “done better” by his constituents.
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