WEATHER ALERT:

Download the WSB Radio App and Enable Push Notifications for Storm Updates

ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
63°
Thundershowers
H 68° L 44°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    63°
    Current Conditions
    Thundershowers. H 68° L 44°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    68°
    Today
    Thundershowers. H 68° L 44°
  • heavy-rain-day
    56°
    Tomorrow
    Chance of Rain. H 56° L 44°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Sexual misconduct claims force two in Congress to resign, another into ethics probe
Close

Sexual misconduct claims force two in Congress to resign, another into ethics probe

Sexual misconduct claims force two in Congress to resign, another into ethics probe
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Sexual misconduct claims force two in Congress to resign, another into ethics probe

In a head shaking series of events, a tide of sexual misconduct allegations continued to sweep across Capitol Hill on Thursday, as one Senate Democrat and one House Republican announced their resignations, while another House GOP lawmaker became the subject of an ethics review over a sexual harassment case that has already resulted in a taxpayer funded settlment.

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) began the highly unusual day on Capitol Hill, taking the Senate floor just before lunch to announce his resignation 'in coming weeks,' but denying any wrongdoing.

Hours later, the House floor suddenly was in the spotlight, as Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) surprised colleagues by announcing he would resign effective at the end of January. (On Friday afternoon, Franks announced he would resign immediately, after his wife had been hospitalized on Thursday night.)

About the same time, the House Ethics Committee announced it had formed an investigative panel to review allegations of sexual harassment against Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who has already acknowledged having the taxpayers pay $84,000 to a former employee to settle a sexual harassment case.

All those developments came amid talk in the halls of the Capitol of possibly more stories emerging about lawmakers, mirroring the public rush of sexual misconduct allegations nationally.

"Every one of these claims, whether it's in business, industry, or in Congress, has to be taken very seriously," said House Speaker Paul Ryan, hours before Ryan said he had asked Rep. Franks to resign.

The Speaker's office put out this background on the Franks case:

Jamie Dupree
Close

house124

Jamie Dupree

"Last Wednesday, the speaker was briefed on credible claims of misconduct by Rep. Trent Franks. He found the allegations to be serious and requiring action," read a statement put out by the Speaker's office.

The Speaker's statement was much different than the explanation put out by Franks, who said he had discussed the issue of having a child by a surrogate with two former female staffers.

"Rather than allow a sensationalized trial by media damage those things I love most, this morning I notified House leadership that I will be leaving Congress as of January 31st, 2018," Franks said in a statement.

Meanwhile, pressure increased on Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who admitted this week that he had used taxpayer dollars to pay an $84,000 sexual harassment settlement with a former employee on Capitol Hill.

On CNN Thursday evening, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) said she thought Farenthold needed to move on.

"I think that he should voluntarily resign," Love said, becoming the second GOP lawmaker to call for Farenthold to quit, along with Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

Farenthold is now facing a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which was announced at about the time that Rep. Franks announced his resignation.

c9f363e5-975b-490e-9fb0-851508bbc08d{ "/Pub/p8/CmgSharedContent/2017/12/07/Images/WPIMAGE_cmgwsbradiojamiedupree_farenthold13_14743.jpg?uuid=zrFHGDTOEemxKaMrYufZxg", "", "eb76eaf3f1b24ad3b8da8d9edf17a443" "image" "" }

Meanwhile, Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), was resisting calls for his resignation, over claims of sexual misconduct during his 2016 run for Congress.

"We have a responsibility to uphold the dignity of the House of Representatives," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has publicly urged Kihuen to leave the Congress.

The resignation announcements by Franks and Franken came two days after Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) resigned from the House, also for sexual misconduct issues.

Read More

News

  • Who will sit on the Iron Throne when “Game of Thrones” ends its run later this year? You can -- well, sort of. >> Read more trending news  A student at a Kentucky welding school built a 200-pound replica of the Iron Throne as a wedding gift for his wife, WLKY reported. He is also renting it out, the television station reported. Michael Hayes is a student at the Knight School of Welding in Louisville. He and his instructors spent nearly 110 hours over two months to craft the throne, which includes 400 swords, WLKY reported. The school funded the project, which cost $7,000. The throne is not made of iron or steel, but aluminum, otherwise “it would pretty much stay wherever it sat,' Hayes told the television station. Hayes said he made the throne as a wedding gift for his wife, Kacie Hayes. 'The show is one of the first things my wife and I bonded over,” Michael Hayes told WLKY. “It's a really important thing to us.” >>  Social media reacts to season premiere of ‘Game of Thrones’ The throne was a centerpiece at the Hayes’ wedding, and the couple struck a pose similar to ones by “Game of Thrones” characters Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. 'Besides the awesome fact that my wife pretty much does look like Daenerys, especially when she's in her get-up,” Michael Hayes told WLKY. “It made it all the more awesome when I could see her sitting in the throne and doing her thing. It's just been awesome.” Hayes said if you want to rent the throne, email him at mqhayes1@yahoo.com, WLKY reported.
  • “I am in the middle of the expressway with a donkey,” an Illinois deputy said Wednesday, agitated as she called for backup. >> Read more trending news  The Cook County Sheriff’s deputy was not referring to a driver on I-90. She was seeking help after a real donkey escaped from a trailer shortly before noon, WBBM reported. Body cam footage showed the deputy trying to coax the donkey, named Dusty, to the side of the road, away from vehicles barreling down the interstate, the television station reported. “Come here, come here, sweetie,” the deputy told the donkey. She then radioed her dispatcher, telling officials that “You wanna call the state or something, somebody lost their donkey, county,” WMAQ reported. >> Two donkeys found mauled to death in Louisville According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Twitter account, Dusty, was safely returned to his owner.
  • An Australian man rescued his 14-month-old son Friday, after the child was dragged away from his bed by a wild dingo, 9News Australia reported. >> Read more trending news  The toddler was sleeping inside a camper on a remote area of Fraser Island in Queensland when two of the wild dogs entered the vehicle. One of them bit the child’s neck, Radio New Zealand reported. Paramedic Ben Du Toit said the dingo began dragging the child into the bush, 9News Australia reported. 'The parents awoke with the toddler crying and heard the crying getting further away from the campervan,' Du Toit told the network. The child’s father ran outside and rescued the boy from the jaws of the dog, CNN reported. The boy suffered two deep cuts to the top of his neck and minor cuts to his scalp, Radio New Zealand reported. He was airlifted to a hospital for treatment and was in stable condition, CNN reported. 'If it wasn't for the parents and their quick thinking and fighting off the dingoes, he probably would have had more severe injuries,' Lifeflight pilot Frank Bertoli said at a news conference.
  • A Texas woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to stealing $1.3 million from the Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo, using the money to finance vacations and two motorcycles, WFAA reported. >> Read more trending news  D’Ann Elizabeth Wagner, of Fort Worth, was a bookkeeper for the rodeo, the television station reported. She was sentenced in Tarrant County District Court. According to prosecutors, Wagner used a PayPal account on the rodeo’s website she set up and was linked to her personal information, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. PayPal issued a debit card to manage the money, which Wagner used for her personal use, the newspaper reported. Investigators found more than 11,000 transactions between January 2014 and March 2017, totaling more than $1.3 million. She used the money for vacations and gambling, bought two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and made other unspecified purchases, WFAA reported. “This defendant stole more than six times the minimum threshold for this first-degree felony charge,” Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Brooke Panuthos said in a statement. “She had 11,000 chances to stop her criminal behavior and stop stealing from employers who trusted her. She showed no conscience and no remorse for her actions.”
  • A Michigan man accused of intentionally shooting his 2-year-old son in the face was arraigned in court Thursday, MLive reported. >> Read more trending news  Michael Christopher Glance, 32, is charged with three counts each of assault with intent to murder and felony firearms, the website reported. He is being held in lieu of a $10 million bond, WILX reported. The incident occurred in Blackman Township on Tuesday, the television station reported. It happened while Glance allegedly was arguing with Nicole McCarthy, the boy’s mother, MLive reported. “For whatever reason, Mr. Glance decided to take his anger out on his 2-year-old child that day,” Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kati Rezmierski said in court. During an argument between the couple, Glance allegedly held a pistol to his son’s temple and pulled the trigger, Rezmierski said. The gun did not fire, she said. McCarthy took the boy to her car and put him in his car seat, MLive reported. She was getting ready to leave when Glance allegedly came out of the couple’s home with a shotgun and fired at their son, according to the website. The child was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, WILX reported.
  • City council members in a Denver suburb voted to approve a name change for a neighborhood that has been called Swastika Acres, KDVR reported. >> Read more trending news  Cherry Hills Village City Council members Tuesday voted unanimously to change the subdivision name to Old Cherry Hills, the television station reported. Swastika Acres was named decades before the symbol was adopted by the Nazis, KDVR reported. However, the subdivision’s name is only apparent in real estate closing documents, according to the television station. “Some buyers are savvy enough to read the documents and really dig in and understand what their legal description of their property is,” Cherry Hills Village councilman Dan Sheldon told KDVR. “That’s the only way you’d know.” According to Sheldon, the subdivision name derived from the Denver Land Swastika Company, which divided the land into plots at the turn of the 20th century. “There was nothing wrong with (the name) at that time,” Sheldon told KDVR.