The congressional office of Rep. Blake Farenthold was an out-of-control mess where the Texan alternately bullied staffers and told them about his ‘sexual fantasies,’ according to a report.
Farenthold and his entire staff got sensitivity training after incidents of ‘sexualized commentary,’ the Houston Chronicle reported.
A former communications aide, Lauren Greene, got an $84,000 payment after accusing her boss of sexual harassment.
Her lawsuit says Farenthold, 55, had ‘sexual fantasies’ and ‘wet dreams’ about her. Another former spokeswoman, Elizabeth Peace, a former TV anchor, said the lawmaker ‘allowed the hostility in his office to continue. He allowed us to work in a place that was just emotionally damaging, and that should never be allowed in any office.’
The congressional office of Rep. Blake Farenthold was an out-of-control mess where the Texan alternately bullied staffers and told them about his ‘sexual fantasies,’ according to a report
Another of Greene’s complaints is that Farenthold ‘disclosed that a female lobbyist had propositioned him for “a threesome,”‘ the New York Times reported.
‘I’ve done nothing wrong,” Farenthold told the paper this week. “I’m happy to visit with anybody who has a concern and explain the facts to the extent that I am allowed to under the settlement agreement.”
Former aides also say Farenthold had a volatile temper.
The House Ethics committee is investigating the 2014 harassment complaint.
Peace told the paper: ‘There were a lot of inappropriate things that happened in that office that I don’t think would have happened if the congressman hadn’t already set the tone.’
Happy hour would begin at 4:30 pm, a time aides called ‘beer-thirty,’ aides told the paper.
SUNLIGHT: Former aides revealed bullying and sexualized conduct inside Farenthold’s office
LOOK AWAY: Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Rep. George Holding (R-GA), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), join othermembers of the House Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee in wearing 3D glasses while watching a demonstration of 3D technology on Capitol Hill July 25, 2013 in Washington, DC
I SWEAR: House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017
Peace said women would talk about which male lobbyists texted them pictures of their penises.
Topics sometimes turned to strip clubs and the physical appearance of Fox News anchors.
“There were numerous lewd comments that were made either about female reporters’ breast size, or other reporters’ breast size as well as female lobbyists and their appearance that would go on,” said a former aide. “On any given week you were prone to either ridicule, rude comments, acts of aggression or rage.”
Greene’s lawsuit charged that Farenthold ‘regularly drank to excess, and because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘redhead patrol’ to keep him out of trouble.”
Farenthold’s acknowledged only part of the allegation.
The lawyers said “some staff occasionally joked that Rep. Farenthold finds redheads attractive.” But they denied “the implication that this was a source for, or cause of, concern for any staffer,” according to the Times.
Farenthold has resisted calls that he resign, even as Democratic Rep. John Conyers, Democratic Sen. Al Franken, and Republican Rep. Trent Franks quit Congress after allegations emerged.