GOP Rep. Meehan will not seek re-election after sex harassment claim

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan, who used taxpayer money to settle a former staffer's sexual harassment claim, will not run for re-election, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday.

Meehan told Ryan of his decision not to run on Thursday, Ryan spokesman Doug Andres said.

Meehan, 62, who has represented his southeastern Pennsylvania district since 2011, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Saturday, Ryan removed Meehan from the House Ethics Committee after the New York Times published an article saying Meehan used thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual misconduct claim from a former female aide who accused him of making unwanted romantic overtures.

RELATED: Congressional lawmakers not seeking re-election

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Congressional lawmakers not seeking re-election come 2018
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Congressional lawmakers not seeking re-election come 2018
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) 
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
U.S. Republican Representative Darrell Issa
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-CA)
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas)

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 

Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)

Rep. John 'Jimmy' Duncan (R-Tenn.)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) 

(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) 

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Washington)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico)

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Florida

Photo Credit: Getty 

Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa.

Photo Credit: Getty

Sen. William Larkin (R-NY)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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Meehan, a married father of three, has said in subsequent media interviews that he considered the aide, who is three decades younger than him, his "soul mate," but he has denied harassing her.

In recent months, a wave of women and men have accused high-powered men in entertainment, the news media and government of harassment or abuse.

Two other congressmen, Democrat Ruben Kihuen and Republican Blake Farenthold, have said they will not seek re-election next year after they were the subject of sexual misconduct accusations. Both have denied the allegations.

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Former Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, Democratic Representative John Conyers and Republican Representative Trent Franks resigned from Congress following misconduct allegations. Those lawmakers have also denied the allegations.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh and Lisa Shumaker)

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