The money Texas residents pay in taxes is expected to be used to help rebuild rugged roadways or go toward a project that is geared to making the community a better place. While many are under the impression that this is where their tax money goes, we are now learning that a large chunk of taxpayer’s money from 2014 was used to settle a sexual harassment case. According to KXAN, Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold spent $84,000 of taxpayer money to settle a lawsuit that was filed against him for his ill behavior.
Back in 2014, Farenthold was sued by his former communications director, Lauren Greene, who claimed that the congressman discriminated against her based on her gender, engaged in sexual harassment, and created a hostile work environment for her. After going through mediation, as litigation would have cost taxpayers even more, “the parties jointly agreed to accept the solution proposed by the mediator.” A statement was also issued by Farenthold’s office at the time the lawsuit was being pursued claiming “The parties believe that the mediator’s solution saves the parties, and the taxpayers, significant sums that would be expended in further discovery and/or trial.”
While it is considerate of all parties involved to think about the taxpayers’ dollars and how they are spent, the main issue many have with this particular case is that the money was used to cover up the congressman’s “demeaning and degrading harassment of women.” And that is not why Texas residents pay taxes.
GOP Leaders and Lawmakers are Calling for Farenthold to Repay and Resign
After learning that such a large sum of money was used to settle a sexual harassment and discrimination case, political groups have become outraged. While some want Farenthold to resign from his position, relinquishing his rights as a congressman, others believe he should actually repay the money. After all, a case involving sexual harassment becomes a personal matter and should have been handled just as that. The money Farenthold was required to pay the victim should have come from his own pocket, not the pockets of the people who pay taxes regularly.
When a criminal is required to pay a fine or the initiator of a car accident must pay the victim for damages, they don’t exactly turn to the community and ask for financial assistance. Yet, Farenthold took it upon himself use “Texas taxpayer dollars as a piggy bank.”
Consequences Should be Issued When Due
Aside from individuals being recognized for their misconduct, we have yet to see consequences be issued for their inappropriate behavior. Many of the people who have been called out for engaging in sexual harassment lose their high standing positions only to move on with their lives, but they haven’t been faced with any real repercussions for their actions. That, perhaps, is another issue to tackle once society gets a hold on how to handle the recurring issue of sexual harassment.
If you are the victim of sexual misconduct, it is important that you seek legal advice from a Houston, Texas sexual harassment lawyer. There are various avenues you can take in terms of handling your issue and USAttorneys.com can place you in touch with a lawyer who can explain these to you.