Three months have passed since Rep. Blake Farenthold promised to repay the $84,000 he used in taxpayer money to pay the settlement of a former aide who accused the Texas Republican of sexual harassment and other improper conduct.
There is no indication that the congressman has done so yet and repeated requests for comment on this story to his office by CNN for an update have gone unanswered.
In February, Farenthold’s communications director, Stacey Daniels, said that the congressman has not cut a check yet and told CNN that he is “waiting on advice of counsel before acting.”
Farenthold first vowed – on December 4 that he would pay back the money, telling a local TV station, KRIS in Corpus Christi, Texas, that he is “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.”
The House Ethics Committee announced late last year it would investigate Farenthold for allegations of sexual harassment from his former aide, Lauren Greene, who received the $84,000 settlement –paid for with taxpayer money – after she sued Farenthold in December 2014 for gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
Farenthold denied some of the allegations against him but also apologized using for inappropriate language and his role in creating a hostile workplace.
He announced in December that he would not be seeking re-election.