On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Representative Patrick Meehan ’78 P’17 (R-Pa.) used thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to settle a personal sexual misconduct complaint made by a former aide. Last night Meehan announced that he would not be running for reelection.
Meehan graduated from Bowdoin with degrees in Government and Legal Studies and Classics and went on to receive a law degree from Temple University.
According to the Times, the former aide alleges that Meehan made “unwanted romantic overtures” to her by professing his feelings in person and in writing. She says that he became hostile in the workplace when he discovered that she had entered a serious relationship with another man and did not reciprocate Meehan’s feelings.
After beginning a complaint process, the aide eventually left her job and later reached a confidential agreement with Meehan that involved the payment of an undisclosed amount, drawn from Meehan’s congressional office fund.
Meehan, a member of the House Ethics Committee, which is responsible for investigating misconduct, has since been removed from the panel by House Speaker Paul Ryan. The committee will conduct its own investigation of the allegations. Ryan has instructed Meehan to repay the taxpayer funds used to settle the complaint.
In a statement, Meehan denied allegations of harassment, saying he has always treated all colleagues with “respect and professionalism.”
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, Meehan confirmed having strong feelings for the woman, referring to her as his “soulmate,” but denied pursuing a romantic relationship with her.