Farenthold says he’ll repay taxpayer money

WASHINGTON (AP)— Texas U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who used $84,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle with a former aide who sued him for sexual harassment in 2014, says he will take out a loan to pay back the money.

Farenthold told a Corpus Christi television station Monday that he plans to take out a personal loan to repay the government, a move that would be unprecedented under the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act that governs workplace disputes against lawmakers and their staffs.

The four-term congressmen, who long has denied any wrongdoing, said he will offer a check to House Speaker Paul Ryan or other congressional leaders this week.

Farenthold told KRIS-TV, that the losers in his case, which eventually was settled out of court, were the taxpayers who are required by law to underwrite settlements and awards against members of Congress.

“I want to be clear that I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said, “but I also don’t want the taxpayers to be on the hook for this.”

In an interview with “6 Investigates” in Corpus Christi, Farenthold said he was not given a choice about using his own money in the 2015 confidential settlement with his former spokeswoman, Lauren Greene.

Under the 1995 law, awards and settlements are paid from an account of the U.S. Treasury.

San Marcos Daily Record

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