Former communications director for Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Lauren Greene, claimed the lawmaker had engaged in sexual harassment and gender discrimination, as well as created a hostile work environment. Other coworkers have also alleged that the congressman was verbally abusive and sexually demeaning, by commenting on women’s breasts or behinds. Greene said another aide told her the lawmaker had sexual fantasies about Greene while he was estranged from his wife. When she complained about the misconduct, Greene alleged the congressman improperly fired her. She filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, but it was settled out of court in Nov. 2015. In Dec. 2017, it was reported that the settlement (in the amount of $84,000), was paid using taxpayer money—the first publicly known settlement to be taxpayer-funded. Speaker Paul Ryan met with Farenthold twice at night on Dec. 14. The next morning, Farenthold acknowledged that he had fostered an ‘unprofessional’ work environment, and that he would not seek reelection.