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Ex-Texas Rep. Farenthold Quits Lucrative Port Lobbying Job

VICTORIA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A former Texas congressman who resigned last year amid sexual harassment allegations has quit his $160,000-a-year lobbyist position for a port authority.

The Victoria Advocate reports that the Calhoun Port Authority announced former Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold's resignation Thursday. The port's board declined to comment further.

Farenthold's resignation letter says he left the lucrative position lobbying for a port in his ex-district "to pursue other interests and opportunities."

Farenthold started representing the port authority last May, just weeks after he abruptly resigned from Congress following bipartisan pressure over his use of public funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint.

Rep. Blake Farenthold
(credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In December of 2017, Farenthold posted a video denying a former aide's 2014 accusations, including that he'd subjected her to sexually suggestive comments and behavior and then fired her after she complained. Still, the congressman apologized in that video for an office atmosphere he said included "destructive gossip, offhand comments, off-color jokes and behavior that, in general, was less than professional."

Farenthold, a seven-year House veteran from Corpus Christi at the time, had said he'd engaged in no wrongdoing when he settled the case in 2015. But after congressional sources said he'd paid the $84,000 settlement using taxpayer money, public focus intensified.

A newspaper's investigation has raised questions about the former congressman's lobbying post after finding Farenthold had allegedly tried to steer a federal contract to port chairman Randy Boyd's company.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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