Ex-staffer says Blake Farenthold made her work for campaign on public’s dime, sources tell CNN


A former staffer for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold told the congressional committee investigating the Corpus Christi Republican that the lawmaker made her work on his re-election despite never volunteering for or being paid by the campaign, sources told CNN.

Congressional rules bar lawmakers from using public resources to benefit their political campaigns. 

The allegations brought by former Farenthold communications director Elizabeth Peace come amid sexual harassment and staff abuse accusations made against Farenthold, whose district includes parts of Bastrop and Caldwell counties. 

CNN said sources familiar with Peace’s conversation with congressional lawyers told that Peace also claimed that requests for campaign work were sometimes sent directly to her official House email account.

“On more than one occasion, she was asked to perform these duties when she was physically at Farenthold's congressional office on Capitol Hill during regular work hours,” CNN reported. 

The House Ethics Committee announced late Thursday it would expand its investigation of the retiring Farenthold to include allegations of misuse of official resources for campaign activities and lying to the panel. 

No one from Farenthold’s office responded to CNN’s request for comment and no one immediately responded to the American-Statesman Friday morning for comment on the latest allegations or the growing investigation. 

Farenthold announced last week he would not seek re-election after news organizations exposed that he used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim and former staffers stepped forward with allegations of an abusive work environment. They have told Congressional investigators that Farenthold regularly berated staff, made lewd remarks and would become so enraged he would push items off of his desk and onto the floor. 

However, Farenthold’s decision to withdrawal came after the deadline to remove his name from the 2018 primary ballot, leaving the state Republican Party in a lurch. 

Texas GOP officials sued the Texas secretary of state in federal court to keep Farenthold’s name off the primary ballot — a legal challenge they eventually dropped.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

George P. Bush outraises GOP primary opponent Patterson
George P. Bush outraises GOP primary opponent Patterson

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, facing a Republican primary challenge from Jerry Patterson, the man who formerly held his post, significantly outraised his opponent in the last half of 2017, campaign finance reports filed this week show. Bush’s campaign raised $1 million, leaving him with almost $3.4 million in the bank at the end of...
We knew this already: Buc-ee’s is officially the best gas station 
We knew this already: Buc-ee’s is officially the best gas station 

Huge, super-clean bathrooms. Fresh sandwiches. Pajama pants covered in little beavers. Home decor. Awesome snacks. Really big car washes. Texans know where it’s at when it comes to gas stations, and Buc-ee’s is the best of the best. We knew this already. This is nothing new.  But now it’s official. GasBuddy listed Buc-ee&rsquo...
Are you the cutest couple in Austin? Enter the 2018 Cutest Couples Contest
Are you the cutest couple in Austin? Enter the 2018 Cutest Couples Contest

Are your friends constantly telling you how cute you and your significant other are? Do they say, “Oh, gross” when you smooch at brunch? Do they tell you to “get a room” when you gaze at each other lovingly over happy hour beers? Do you think you’re pretty cute, too?  Let’s put it to the test. We&rsquo...
Austin grows up: Statesman graphic from the 80s details ‘skyscraper boom’
Austin grows up: Statesman graphic from the 80s details ‘skyscraper boom’

People have been yelling “When did that get there?!” in Austin longer than you’d think. Reddit user Meetybeefy posted a graphic to the news aggregation site, which is stamped as having been printed in the Statesman on Oct. 21, 1984, that shows the planned downtown projects set to “stretch [the] skyline.” And even...
Slaughter Lane overpass in South Austin reopens early after deadly crash
Slaughter Lane overpass in South Austin reopens early after deadly crash

Austin police have reopened an elevated portion of Slaughter Lane in South Austin ahead of schedule after a fatal crash on Tuesday evening. Police shut down all traffic in the 1500 block of West Slaughter Lane after a pickup tumbled off a roughly 30-foot high bridge just east of Manchaca Road on Tuesday evening. Authorities at the time of the incident...
More Stories