Report: Farenthold to Pay Back Money for Sexual Harassment Settlement

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he plans to pay the federal government for money it paid to settle a sexual harassment claim against him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Blake Farentholdtold a local news outlet he would pay the government back for a settlement for sexual harassment claim.

The Republican lawmaker told KRIS 6 News that was doing so even though the Office of Congressional Ethics cleared him of any wrongdoing.

“I want to be able to talk about it and fix the system without people saying ‘Blake, you benefited from the system. You don’t have a right to talk about it or fix it,’” he said.

Farenthold’s pledge came after Politico reported that Farenthold paid $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle with his former communications director, Lauren Greene.

Greene had accused Farenthold of discussing his “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams.”

Farenthold said he wished he could have said something last week when the story broke.

“I went to the House lawyer and asked ‘what can I say’ and they said nothing,” he said. 

Farenthold said he read the settlement agreement when he got home and said he got a lawyer he hired with his own money.

“And he said ‘Blake, you can talk about the process all you want and the process is broken,’” he said. 

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