Politics

Farenthold Spends Leftover Campaign Funds On Lawyers

Disgraced former congressman also spent on hotel, cocktail party

Former Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, has yet to pay back the $84,000 in taxpayer money he used to settle a sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Since leaving office in April, Former Rep. Blake Farenthold has used a substantial amount of his leftover campaign money on legal expenses.

An analysis of Farenthold’s Federal Election Commission report by the Houston Chronicle found the Texas congressman spent more than $100,000 in legal fees

Farenthold’s campaign finance report showed he spent $20,000 on legal fees to Los Angeles-based firm Bird Marella Boxer Wolpert Nessim Drook and additional $20,000 went to Berke Farah LLP.

In previous quarters, Farenthold spent $60,609 on lawyers, making the total amount of money he spent on legal fees more than $100,000.

Farenthold resigned in April after Politico reported his office used $84,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment case against a former staffer. Since then, he spent $41,000, leaving his campaign account with $3,300 at the end of the most recent fundraising quarter. He reported $54,246 in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter of this year, which spanned from January 1 to March 31.

Farenthold also spent spent $800 as a deposit to stay at a luxury resort outside Sarasota, Florida. On June 22, after he already resigned, Farenthold also used $860 for a cocktail party in Potomac, Maryland.

This comes despite the fact the FEC prohibits spending campaign money for personal use.

Initially, Farenthold pledged to deliver a check to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. But Farenthold since said his lawyers advised him against paying back the money.

Farenthold was succeeded by Rep. Mike Cloud, who won a special election. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wanted Farenthold to foot the bill for the special election but Farenthold refused.

Farenthold now works as a lobbyist for the Calhoun Port Authority.

The Victoria Advocate newspaper sued the Calhoun Port Authority because it said the authority violated Texas’ Open Meetings Act for hiring Farenthold behind closed doors.

Watch: Farenthold Resigns from Congress

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