Panel alleges improper payments by North Carolina GOP congressman to aide

By  | 

WASHINGTON (AP) - A congressional review panel says there is "substantial reason to believe" that North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows may have broken House rules when he continued to pay an employee accused of sexual harassment for months after he was fired.

The probe into the Republican congressman involves allegations that Meadows approved severance payments to his former chief of staff - whom several female members of Meadows' staff said made them feel uncomfortable - in violation of the rules.

The staffer, Kenny West, was fired in the spring of 2015 but was paid through mid-August.

The House Ethics Committee's top lawmakers said in a joint statement that the panel is reviewing a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, an outside panel that reviews ethics complaints against House members.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)