Politics Rep. Blake Farenthold has not yet paid back $84K for sexual harassment settlement

22:51  03 january  2018
22:51  03 january  2018 Source:   cnn.com

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Disgraced Rep . Blake Farenthold has not yet repaid $ 84 ,000 in taxpayer money for a settlement reached with a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment and other improper conduct, despite the Texas Republican's statement late last year saying he would do so.

4, 2018 7:06 AM. Disgraced Rep . Blake Farenthold has not yet repaid $ 84 ,000 in taxpayer money for a settlement reached with a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment and other improper conduct, despite the Texas Republican's statement late last year saying he would do so.

Blake Farenthold attends the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards at The Hamilton on April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. © Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording A Blake Farenthold attends the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards at The Hamilton on April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Disgraced Rep. Blake Farenthold has not yet repaid $84,000 in taxpayer money for a settlement reached with a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment and other improper conduct, despite the Texas Republican's statement late last year saying he would do so.

Nearly one month after the initial statement, Farenthold's communications director, Stacey Daniels, tells CNN that he has not yet written a check, and on the advice of counsel is waiting to see what changes the House will make to the Congressional Accountability Act before repaying those funds.

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Two months ago, Rep . Blake Farenthold vowed to repay the $ 84 ,000 he used in taxpayer money to pay the settlement of a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment and other improper conduct.

Blake Farenthold paid $ 84 ,000 towards a sexual harassment settlement in 2014. Greene claimed in the lawsuit that another Farenthold aide told her the lawmaker had “ sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene.

On December 4, Farenthold told a local TV station, KRIS in Corpus Christi, Texas, "I'm ... going to hand a check over this week to probably Speaker Ryan or somebody and say, 'Look, here's the amount of my settlement. Give it back to the taxpayers. I want to be clear that I didn't do anything wrong, but I also don't want the taxpayers to be on the hook for this.'" But that check is on hold.

The Congressional Accountability Act is the 1995 law that established the Office of Compliance, Congress' little known agency that handles workplace complaints. The Office of Compliance, which has typically not made public breakdowns of how it spends taxpayer funds, has been under increasing pressure to do so by lawmakers and those outside of Congress who have called for more transparency.

Farenthold, who announced last year that he would not seek re-election, faces investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which said in December that it was expanding its investigation into him to include allegations that he inappropriately used official resources for campaign activities.

Farenthold was already being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for allegations of sexual harassment from the former aide, Lauren Greene, who received the $84,000 settlement after she sued Farenthold in December 2014 for gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

$300k to settle sex discrimination claims against Congress .
Nearly $300,000 in taxpayer funds has been spent to settle 13 claims against members of Congress or their offices since 2003 that include sexual harassment or sex discrimination, according to statistics released by a House committee on Friday.The Committee on House Administration released a list of settlements stemming from claims against member offices between 2003 and 2007 that include three cases involving sex discrimination that total more than $27,000.

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