Melvin “Mel” Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)

U.S. Housing Official Says He’s Confident He’ll Be Cleared in Harassment Probe

(Bloomberg) -- Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, whose agency regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said he is “confident” he will be cleared of wrongdoing following a news report that he’s under investigation for sexually harassing a female subordinate.

“The selective leaks related to this matter are obviously intended to embarrass or to lead to an unfounded or political conclusion,” Watt said in a Friday statement, after Politico reported his conduct is being examined. “However, I am confident that the investigation currently in progress will confirm that I have not done anything contrary to law. I will have no further comment while the investigation is in progress."

While Watt’s statement didn’t specify the focus of the probe, Politico said he was being examined for allegedly making inappropriate sexual advances to an unnamed employee after she sought to discuss her career and pay with him. Diane Seltzer Torre, a lawyer who Politico said represents the woman, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg News.

The U.S. Postal Service is handling the investigation into Watt, according to Politico.

Watt’s term leading the FHFA is slated to expire in January 2019. An ex-Democratic member of Congress from North Carolina, he was appointed to lead the regulator by former President Barack Obama.

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