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Investigative Ethics Panel Established for Kihuen and Farenthold Allegations

The House Ethics Committee established Thursday an investigative subcommittee to evaluate separate claims that Reps. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, engaged in sexual misbehavior, according to a statement from committee leaders

Both lawmakers have announced in recent weeks they will not be running for re-election in the 2018 midterms.

Roll Call reported earlier this month that the Ethics panel had voted to establish such a subcommittee.

Kihuen, a freshman lawmaker largely viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party, was accused by a former campaign staff member of sexual harassment, as well as another woman who claimed he made unwanted sexual advances toward her. Kihuen has denied the claims.

The allegations against Farenthold that the new subcommittee will look into include sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of gender, inappropriate comments made to staff and retaliation based on those accusations.

The Office of Compliance already paid $84,000 to settle a harassment claim tied to Farenthold’s office. The congressman later said he would pay the money back to the government.

Dean DeChiaro contributed to this report.

Source: Roll Call

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