What Patrick Meehan's resignation means for his House seat

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Meehan said Friday that he would give $39,000 to the USA treasury as reimbursement to tax payers for the severance payment, a payment he said would be made within a month his resignation."I did not want to leave with any question of violating the trust of taxpayers", he said. A $39,000 severance payment was made from the Congressman's account to the former staffer. "And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff", Meehan, a former member of the ethics panel, said in a statement. "I did not want to leave with any question of violating the trust of taxpayers". With Meehan's early resignation, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf now has 10 days to set a special election at least 60 days out.

At the time of his resignation, he was facing a House Ethics probe in the matter.

Meehan, 62, a married father of three sons, was a longtime political operative for Republican officials like former state Attorney General Ernie Preate, and U.S. Sens.

Wolf now has 10 days to set a special election to fill the remainder of Meehan's term, although the election can not be held for 60 days, which would mean it can not be aligned with the spring primary. The Times reported that she had lodged her complaint last summer with Congress' Office of Compliance after Meehan became hostile toward her and she left the job.

She said the woman who accused Meehan had spoken to the ethics committee for hours and produced "reams" of documents to support her claim. In a statement Friday, the Delaware County Republican also thanked his wife and family for their support, and said he wished he "had done better" by the constituents who were disappointed in his actions. Since 2011, Meehan's district had been badly contorted and criticized as being among the nation's most gerrymandered.

He later called the woman his "soul mate" in an interview with WHYY, claiming he had a deep affection for her but never displayed romantic feelings for her. That special election can not occur any sooner than 60 days after Wolf makes the announcement. Longtime Rep. Charlie Dent, also a Republican, said on April 17 that he planned to resign from Congress "in the coming weeks". His office said Friday that Wolf had yet to make a decision on a date.

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