Report: Meehan Viewed Staffer as “Soul Mate”
Meehan told the Inquirer that told her last year he viewed her as a “soul mate,” but never pushed for a romantic relationship with her or harassed her.
In the interview with the Inquirer, Meehan confirmed the outline of the New York Times story that said he expressed romantic desires for a female staffer.
From the Inquirer:
Meehan confirmed the outline of the Times story, which said the married 62-year-old expressed his romantic desires to his aide after she began a serious relationship with someone else, then grew hostile when she did not reciprocate. After filing her complaint, she received a settlement and ultimately left the job, and reportedly felt traumatized by the entire experience.
But he denied harassing her, and said any hostility he may have exhibited stemmed from stress around high-pressure votes last year over the Affordable Care Act. He said that he sought to remain loyal to his wife, and that he used his office funds to settle the harassment claim so he and the aide could move on and keep the issue private.
Meehan said that the woman worked with him for years and was an important part of his office, which lead to a close working relationship and stronger feelings.
Meehan expressed his feelings for her after she told him about a new relationship she had entered. After Meehan told the aide of his feelings, he sent a letter to her that he said was intended to “clear the air and encourage her in her new relationship.”
“As you bask in this moment of extreme joy I want to share with you my sentiment of how richly it is deserved. You are kind and sensitive and caring and infectious with your laugh. You are and have been a complete partner to me and you have brought me much happiness,” the letter reads.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) jumped on the report as a chance to push against Meehan.
“There’s no longer any doubt: Congressman Meehan admits to creating a hostile work environment and harassing a young woman in his office, but he refuses to take responsibility for his own reprehensible behavior. This woman deserves credit for standing up to a powerful man, and it is deeply unfortunate that Congressman Meehan used his power to effectively end her career,” DCCC Communications Director Meredith Kelly said in a statement.