ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
37°
Sunny
H 50° L 32°
  • clear-night
    37°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 50° L 32°
  • clear-day
    62°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 50° L 32°
  • clear-night
    50°
    Evening
    Clear. H 66° L 35°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Correction: Sexual Misconduct-Farenthold story

In a story Dec. 7 about a House Ethics Committee investigation, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the panel's chairwoman, Rep. Susan Brooks, was from Alabama. She is from Indiana.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Ethics panel expands probe into GOP Rep. Farenthold of Texas

The House Ethics Committee says it is expanding its investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas

By KEVIN FREKING

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee said Thursday it is expanding its investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas.

The committee said it will investigate whether Farenthold sexually harassed a former member of his staff and retaliated against her for complaining. The committee also said the panel would review allegations that Farenthold made inappropriate statements to other members of his official staff.

Lauren Greene is a former communications director in the congressman's office. She alleged in a 2014 federal lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and fired soon after complaining of a hostile work environment. Farenthold said when the case was settled in 2015 that he didn't engage in any wrongdoing.

The committee had already been conducting a discretionary review of the matter and has examined more than 200,000 pages of materials and interviewed multiple witnesses. However, a press release announcing the subcommittee's formation said the resolution of the case had been significantly delayed by difficulties in obtaining testimony from key witnesses and in accessing confidential documents the parties exchanged as the lawsuit was ongoing.

The formation of the subcommittee raises the level of the review and is a necessary prerequisite to the most serious sanctions available in ethics matters.

The committee said more information has come out about the settlement between the two parties. In addition, both Farenthold and the former aide had expressed an interest in increased transparency.

"In light of these developments, the Committee has determined that it is appropriate to establish an Investigative Subcommittee to continue its investigation," said Reps. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., the chairwoman of the committee, and Rep. Ted Deutch, the ranking Democrat.

The independent Office of Congressional Ethics investigated Greene's claim, and recommended that the House Ethics Committee dismiss the allegations, "as there is not substantial reason to believe that Representative Farenthold sexually harassed or discriminated against complainant."

Farenthold said he was "relieved" that the Ethics Committee would look further into the case.

"Once all the facts are released, I'm confident this matter will once and for all be settled and resolved," Farenthold said. "I'm also pleased the Committee on Ethics recognizes, as per their statement, that I have cooperated fully with the committee's investigation and has acknowledged a decision has been delayed because of difficulty obtaining live testimony from other witnesses.

"This investigation increases the transparency the public deserves and what I've wanted since the beginning."

Complaints from staff against members of Congress generally go to the Office of Compliance, which last week said it has settled one claim since 2013 resulting from sexual harassment. The amount was $84,000.

An aide with knowledge of the settlement confirmed that Farenthold is the lawmaker whose office paid the settlement. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to publicly discuss the agreement.

Farenthold subsequently said he was taking out a personal loan to cover the settlement's costs.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • The acting head of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says a $30 million cash infusion from the Legislature will help pay vendors and fund layoffs. Acting Oklahoma Health Commissioner Preston Doerflinger made the comments Monday during more than two hours of testimony before a House panel looking into the agency's budget problems. Doerflinger announced last week that 198 employees at the department would be laid off to reduce costs.  He says some of the $30 million will be used to give laid-off employees a cash payment equal to 18 months of health insurance premiums. Doerflinger says more systemic changes are needed to permanently stabilize the agency after years of mismanagement.
  • The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents scheduled to meet Tuesday amid calls for board member Kirk Humphreys to resign. Humphreys compared gay people to pedophiles during an interview with an Oklahoma City television station that aired on Sunday. An OU alumni group called for his resignation. The student body president encouraged the campus to voice its opinion on Humphreys' 'ignorant' words.” OU's president said he disagreed with the views. Humphreys said in a statement Monday night that he regretted his comments and that he didn't mean to equate gay people with pedophiles. 
  • Trading barbs with President Donald Trump via Twitter on Tuesday, women Democrats demanded that Congress investigate past claims of sexual misconduct leveled against the President during the 2016 campaign, as several lawmakers took the extra step of asking for Mr. Trump’s resignation. “President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won’t hold himself accountable,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has emerged as the leader of efforts to pressure the President on the issue of past allegations. Mr. Trump lobbed a Twitter barb directly at the New York Democrat on Tuesday morning, labeling her a “lightweight” and “total flunky.” Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017 Gillibrand answered back, saying her voice would not be shut down by the President. You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office. https://t.co/UbQZqubXZv — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 12, 2017 And she was joined by other Democrats as well, in calling for the stories about the President to get more of a public airing. . @realDonaldTrump is a misogynist, compulsive liar, and admitted sexual predator. Attacks on Kirsten are the latest example that no one is safe from this bully. He must resign. https://t.co/7lNI23K7ib — Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 12, 2017 Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand? Do you know who you're picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted. https://t.co/mYJtBZfxiu — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 12, 2017 A day after the White House turned aside questions about past claims made by women against the President, Mr. Trump directly addressed the matter, saying that it was all “FAKE NEWS,” calling the charges against him nothing more than ‘false accusations and fabricated stories.’ Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia – so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017 At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, a group of House Democratic women asked Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the head of the House Oversight committee, to investigate the accusations against Mr. Trump. “At least 17 women have publicly accused the President of sexual misconduct,” the letter to Gowdy stated. “The President’s own remarks appear to back up the allegations,” the letter continued. “The President has boasted in public and in crude terms that he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women.” “The ‘Me-Too’ movement has arrived,” said Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL). “Victims must be heard, perpetrators must be held accountable.” 'To date, more than 17 women have publicly come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct,' lawmaker says. 'Simply said, Americans deserve the truth.' https://t.co/mIxkZRGYzP pic.twitter.com/QhBvmGSxE1 — CBS News (@CBSNews) December 12, 2017 At a news conference, Frankel said the letter – which originally had 58 signatures – had swiftly jumped to over 100 in all. “Americans deserve the truth,” Frankel told reporters. While the Democratic women were in the spotlight, some of their male colleagues also chimed in with calls for a more thorough review of the accusations against Mr. Trump. “If you called for Franken to step down, don’t you also have to say it is the right thing for the President to resign?” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on CNN.
  • After enduring weeks of speculation on what would happen if controversial Republican Roy Moore wins a seat in the U.S. Senate, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are waiting like everyone else to see the next act in this political play, as Senate GOP leaders have made clear they won’t give Moore a hero’s welcome if he does emerge victorious on Tuesday night in Alabama. As Senators arrived for their first vote of the week on Monday evening, Republicans ran a gauntlet of reporters asking a simple question – will Roy Moore soon be in the U.S. Senate? “I don’t know,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the senior Senator from the Yellowhammer State, who has made clear that he did not vote for Moore, but instead wrote in another Republican in the Alabama Senate race. Pressed again to say if Moore would win, Shelby re-emphasized his vote. “Not with my help,” he said. The polls in Alabama have been back and forth in recent weeks. The latest on Monday from Fox News, showed a 10 point lead for Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. Fox News Poll: Enthused Democrats give Jones lead over Moore in Alabama https://t.co/7RZmnq0zXN #FoxNews — Mihai Scorobete (@MihaiScorobete) December 11, 2017 “We’ll see,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who denounced Moore, and gave $100 to the Jones campaign. “At this point it’s what I call a turnout race,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), when asked who would win. “It depends who gets their vote out.” While Byrne believes the edge is with the GOP, political pollsters say his turnout argument is on point. “Tomorrow’s Alabama Senate special election will depend on which candidate has more people turn out to vote for him,” pollster Frank Luntz wrote Monday on Twitter. This group of conservative Alabama voters say all 9 of Roy Moore's accusers have been paid to lie against him. #ALSen https://t.co/OT1vV33KRT — Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) December 9, 2017 Outside the Senate chamber, many Republicans wanted to wait and see the vote totals before worrying about their next move. “Let’s see what happens,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), as he was pursued by a group of reporters. “That’s a decision that I leave to the Leader,” Johnson said when asked how Moore should be dealt with by his fellow Republicans – if he wins. “I’m not going to make a call on his qualifications,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) of Moore. “That will be a decision that will be made after the outcome of the election.” Others were quiet on the subject of Roy Moore for an obvious reason. “The answer to your question is, I’m doing good,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), before I had even asked the Senator a question. “I can’t talk to you about anything because I’m the Ethics Chairman,” Isakson added, as the Georgia Republican would be in charge of any ethics review of Moore, which the Senate Majority Leader has made clear he would ask for that if Moore is elected. Isakson – and his GOP colleagues – will find out Tuesday night what’s next for them, and what’s next for Roy Moore.