Texas Governor Demands Blake Farenthold Pay for Special Election

Texas Governor Greg Abbott / Getty

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R.) sent a letter to former Rep. Blake Farenthold (R., Texas) Tuesday demanding the disgraced congressman "cover all the costs" associated with the special election to fill his seat.

Farenthold resigned earlier this month amid an Ethics Committee investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The former congressman had faced criticism since it came to light that in 2015 he settled a lawsuit by a former staffer, for the sum of $84,000, using taxpayer funds.

Farenthold, who had a net worth north of $5 million in 2015, has promised to reimburse the federal government for the settlement, something he has yet to do.

Abbott demanded Farenthold, who is not required to reimburse the federal government, instead send the money to Texas.

"While you have publicly offered to reimburse the $84,000 in taxpayer funds you wrongly used to settle a sexual harassment claim, there is no legal recourse requiring you to give that money back to Congress," Abbott wrote. "I am urging you to give those funds back to the counties in your district to cover the costs of the June 30, 2018, special election."

The governor expressed that it wasn't fair for the taxpayers of Farenthold's district to pay a monetary price for the congressman's ethical failures.

"This seat must be filled, and the counties and taxpayers in the 27th Congressional District should not again pay the price for your actions," Abbott wrote.