Blake Farenthold says he won't repay $84,000 sexual harassment settlement

A day after announcing he had secured a new, six-figure lobbying job, former Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) said he has no intention of paying back tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars he used to settle a sexual harassment suit.

Farenthold, who resigned from the House in April, used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by a former aide in 2014. When the news about the settlement broke in December, Farenthold vowed to quickly pay the money back but never did.

Asked on Tuesday whether he would make the payment in the wake of his new job, he said he had no intention to do so.

“I will say this on the record: I have been advised by my attorneys not to repay that,” Farenthold told ABC. “That’s why it hasn’t been repaid.”

Rep. Blake Farenthold, (R) Texas
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Rep. Blake Farenthold, (R) Texas
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 6: Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, participates in a press conference with other Texas Republicans following the House vote on Hurricane Harvey relief on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 6: Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, flanked from left by Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, and Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, speaks during a press conference following the House vote on Hurricane Harvey relief on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 3: Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 13: (L-R) Blake Farenthold, Kathy Sledge, Darrell Issa attend the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards at The Hamilton on April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 25: Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, uses his smartphone during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on 'The Unconstitutionality of Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration' on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 18: Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, takes a picture during a House and Senate Transportation Conference Committee meeting in Rayburn Building to discuss the surface transportation reauthorization legislation, November 18, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 04: Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas., speaks at a news conference with other House republican freshmen to call on the Senate to take up action on the budget passed in the House in April and also house passed bills that they say will spur job growth and reduce the deficit.
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 03: Blake Farenthold during a meeting with members of the music industry during the Grammy's on the hill lobbying day at Cannon House Office Building on April 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/WireImage for NARAS)
UNITED STATES - MAY 22: Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., center, confers with Reps. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, left, and Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on the investigation of the IRS's targeting of political groups. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Farenthold resigned abruptly, just as the House Ethics Committee was about to rule against him in an investigation into whether he sexually harassed members of his staff, used official money for campaign purposes and lied in testimony to the committee.

His resignation effectively ended the probe, since he was no longer a member of the House. Had it continued, the committee might have required him to pay back the $84,000.

In the 2014 suit, former aide Lauren Greene alleged that Farenthold was often drunk and flirtatious at work and on at least one occasion told another aide that she could “show her nipples whenever she wanted to” and that he had “wet dreams” about her.

Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Several women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh was accused by numerous women of sexual assault, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who claimed he assaulted her when the two were high school students in Maryland.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

(Carlo Allegri / Reuters)

Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

(REUTERS/Donna Carson)

Sen. Al Franken resigned after he was accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman testified that her extra-martial affair with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was not always consensual. The accuser claimed Greitens took a nude photo of her to use as blackmail and coerced her into having oral sex.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was accused in May 2018 of physically abusing four women who he had been romantically involved with, according to The New Yorker.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A former aide of Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., says she was fired after she refused his advances.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, resigned after he was accused of asking former female staffers to be surrogate mothers for his child. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., was accused of making unwanted sexual advances to multiple women.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, was accused of using taxpayer money for a sexual harassment settlement with his former communications director, according to Politico. He announced in December that he wouldn't be seeking reelection. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

(SAUL LOEB via Getty Images)

California Assemblymember Matt Dababneh was accused of masturbating in front of a woman in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times.

(Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)

In 1992 multiple women came forward against Senator Brock Adams accusing him of sexually harassing, molesting or assaulting them.

(Photo by Gary Payne/Liaison)

The Congressional Office of Compliance reportedly shelled out $100,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, D-New York.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Congressman Mark Foley, R-Florida, resigned in 2006 amid reports that he sent sexually explicit messages to at least one underage male former page. 

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., called a young former aide his 'soul mate,' but denied sexually harassing her.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Kentucky, was facing sexual assault accusations and reportedly committed suicide.

(Kentucky Legislative Research Commission via REUTERS)

Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced in 2017 after pleading guilty to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor, ending an investigation into a "sexting" scandal that played a role in the 2016 US presidential election.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Former U.S. Rep. David Wu, D-Oregon, resigned from his position in 2011 after accusations of an 'unwanted sexual encounter' from the 18-year-old daughter of a donor.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain dropped out of the race in December 2011 amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2016 for attempting to skirt banking regulations in order to conceal hush money payments intended to cover up sex abuse allegations stemming from the time he was a high school wrestling coach at a far west suburban Chicago high school decades ago.

(REUTERS/Frank Polich)


After Farenthold’s resignation, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he expected the former lawmaker to repay the money. The House Ethics Committee also released a statement urging Farenthold to follow through on his earlier repayment promise.

On Monday, Farenthold announced that he had landed a new job at the Calhoun Port Authority in Port Lavaca, Texas, as reported by Caller Times. He is to serve as the port’s full-time legislative liaison, with responsibilities that include increasing its visibility with federal lawmakers and the Trump administration.

His annual salary is expected to be roughly $160,000.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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