Ex-congressman Blake Farenthold takes lobbying job for Port of Port Lavaca

Weeks after resigning from Congress amid sexual harassment allegations, former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold will be the port's full-time legislative liaison, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported Monday.

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold arrives to a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 13, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Weeks after resigning from Congress amid sexual harassment allegations, former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold has accepted a job as a lobbyist for the Port of Port Lavaca, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported Monday.

Calling in unexpectedly to a Corpus Christi radio show, 1360 KKTX-AM's Lago in the Morning, Farenthold said he was "starting a new job today that has an hour and a half commute. You're going to have me listening and calling in a whole lot now, I think."

In a statement provided to the Caller-Times, the Calhoun Port Authority, which oversees the Port of Port Lavaca-Point Comfort, confirmed that Farenthold would serve as the port's full-time legislative liaison. The port did not return a phone call from The Texas Tribune requesting comment Monday.

"Blake has always been a strong supporter of the Calhoun Port Authority and is familiar with the issues facing the Port," the statement said. "The Board looks forward to the services Blake can provide in assisting the Port with matters in Washington, D.C."

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Farenthold will earn an annual salary of $160,000, a slight decrease in pay from his congressional salary of $174,000, the Associated Press reported. 

The port plays a key role in supporting Texas chemical manufacturing industries, primarily handling cargo of chemicals, petrochemicals, aluminum ore and agricultural fertilizer, according to the port's website. 

Former House members are prohibited from acting as lobbyists for at least one year after leaving office. But there's a loophole: The lobbying restrictions do not apply to employees or officials of federal, state or local governments. Since the port is run by the government, Farenthold does not have to abide by the mandatory one-year "cooling-off" period.