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Rep. Patrick Meehan resigns, will reimburse taxpayers for sex case settlement

The Pennsylvania Republican had previously announced in January that he wouldn't seek re-election after it became public that his office had settled a sexual harassment complaint.
Image: Rep. Patrick Meehan
Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in 2017.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP Images file

WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan, who had announced in January that he wouldn’t seek re-election after it was revealed he had settled a sex harassment complaint, said Friday he will resign immediately — and that he will personally repay the money paid out in that case.

"With the knowledge I would not be standing for another term, I have decided that stepping down now is in the interest of the constituents I have been honored to serve," the Pennsylvania lawmaker said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Meehan said in his statement Friday that he will repay the money used for the payment that was made.

"I will pay $39,000.00 to the U.S. Treasury to reimburse for the severance payment that was made from my office account. That payment will be made within 30 days of my resignation from the House of Representatives. I did not want to leave with any question of violating the trust of taxpayers," Meehan said.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office said in a statement that a decision on timing of a special election will come "in short order."

Pennsylvania law requires the governor to call a special election within 10 days of a formal vacancy occurring. That special election date must be at least 60 days after the vacancy occurs but could be any date after the 60-day minimum.

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., recently announced that he, too, is resigning from the House instead of retiring at the end of the year.

Meehan was one of the few Republicans on Friday morning who stood with Democrats on the House floor as they demanded answers about the forced resignation of the House chaplain, Rev. Patrick Conroy.

Carrie Dann contributed.