Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold faces more claims of abusive behavior from former aide
A third former top aide has accused Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold of crude, abusive behavior, CNN reported Wednesday.
One of the Corpus Christi congressman’s former communications directors, Michael Rekola, described a work environment so hostile that he said he required counseling and medical treatment.
He described “screaming fits of rage, slamming fists on desks and castigating aides,” CNN reported.
He has offered to provide the House Ethics Comittee with “examples of sexually inappropriate comments” and discuss Farenthold’s “emotionally damaging” and “intimidating” behavior.
Rekola said he’d been subjected to lewd comments, including remarks about his fiancee shortly before his marriage. He said he left his job soon after Farenthold made those comments in 2015.
The congressman denied the comments, CNN said.
But Elizabeth Peace, another former communications director who has accused Farenthold of inappropriate behavior, said she was a witness to the remarks about Rekola’s fiancee.
“Every staffer in that area heard it,” she said. “It was the most shocking thing I’d heard him say at that point.”
Earlier this week, Peace backed up another former aide’s accusations that Farenthold engaged in inappropriate sexual banter with his staff.
The first accuser — Lauren Greene, who also once served as Farenthold’s communications director — received an $84,000 settlement after suing him in 2014 for sexual harassment, gender discrimination and a hostile work environment.
Farenthold has maintained his innocence and recently vowed to repay taxpayers for the settlement, which was covered with money controlled by Congress’ Office of Compliance.