Mark Meadows, the House Freedom Caucus leader, has been fined by the House Ethics Committee. The Washington Examiner reports:
The House Ethics Committee said Friday that Rep. Mark Meadows violated House rules after he failed to take “decisive action” and instead kept a former chief of staff on his payroll after he was accused by female staffers of sexual harassment in 2014.
According to a report released Friday by the committee, Meadows was ordered to repay more than $40,000 to the U.S. Treasury for salary payments to Kenny West, his former chief of staff who was let go in 2015.
“Representative Meadows could have and should have done more to ensure that his congressional office was free from discrimination or the perception of discrimination,” the report concluded. “While Representative Meadows did take some important immediate steps after learning of the allegations of sexual harassment by Mr. West, he did not do enough to address the allegations or to prevent potential further harassment or retaliation. His failure to take decisive action led to his retention of an employee who did not perform duties commensurate with his pay.”
“Based on the totality of the circumstances, the Committee decided to reprove Representative Meadows for his conduct in this matter,” the report read. “Additionally, the Committee concluded that Representative Meadows must reimburse the U.S. Treasury in the amount of $40,625.02 for Mr. West’s salary that was not commensurate with his work.”
This is a major blow to the Freedom Caucus, who also just recently lost against Kevin McCarthy’s bid for Minority Leader.