Coastal Bend Democrats dropped by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold's downtown office to demand the Farenthold's resignation.
“Blake Farenthold's actions have come to light again and embarrassed us yet again,” said Nick Gilby, president of the Coastal Bend Young Democrats.
By actions, protesters referred to a 2014 sexual harassment suit brought against Farenthold by a former staffer.
“His accuser, a former staffer Lauren Greene, said this was a reckoning,” said Gilby. “I believe we reckon it's time for him to resign.”
When reached for comment, Rep. Farenthold insisted he wouldn’t resign, and pointed to the fact he was unanimously cleared by an independent ethics panel.
“They found that there's not substantial reason to believe I sexually harassed or discriminated against the complainant,” said Farenthold. “That's a quote from the Office of Congressional Ethics.”
But many protesters, upset about Farenthold's recent voting record say settling the harassment suit with taxpayer money is reason enough for him to step down.
“This is just the frosting on the cake,” said retired activist Becky Moeller. “The tax scam and now this scam where you steal $84,000 of taxpayer money to cover your sins.”
But Farenthold, who alleges the group chose today to protest his office knowing he was on Capitol Hill at the time, says there was nothing he could do about how the suit was settled.
“The law required that be settled with taxpayer money, and I'm paying that money back,” said Farenthold.
The protest was broken up by police because it turned into a press conference.
Rep. Farenthold says he'll work to reform the law, allowing for more transparency in cases like his.
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