The staff member, Lauren Greene, is accusing Mr. Farenthold, a Texas Republican, and his chief of staff, Bob Haueter, of retaliating after she complained about a hostile work environment. The suit says that Mr. Farenthold regularly made comments designed to gauge whether Ms. Greene -- who most recently was his communications director -- was interested in a sexual relationship, and that the congressman told his executive assistant that he was having "sexual fantasies" about Ms. Greene. It also accuses Mr. Farenthold of drinking "to excess" on numerous occasions. Staff members who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions were put on "redhead patrol" to keep him out of trouble, according to the lawsuit, which was first reported by The National Law Journal.
Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas has been in the news quite a bit recently, but given the developments, it seems likely the congressman would prefer to have a lower profile.
We learned earlier this week, for example, that the GOP congressman has owned an obscene domain name for several years as part of an online business he used to run. Yesterday, Farenthold was sued by a former Capitol Hill aide who alleges she was fired after complaining about mistreatment.
Greene is reportedly seeking "unspecified monetary damages for lost pay and emotional distress."
In a statement, the congressman's spokesperson said Farenthold "cannot comment on the specifics of the complaint" because this is a "pending legal situation."
The statement added, "However, it goes without saying that both the congressman and the members of his staff who are included in this complaint have a very different view of the allegations than Ms. Greene. For the record, the office did not and does not discriminate based on sex or any other unlawful factor. The congressman is eager to respond to Ms. Greene's allegations through the appropriate legal process and is confident that once all of the facts are revealed, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing."
For context, note that four years ago, Farenthold was confronted with a series of photographs in which he wore yellow-ducky pajamas alongside scantily clad young women.