Texas congressman pledges to repay public funds that settled claim

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas is promising to pay back taxpayer money used to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokeswoman.

The four-term congressman told KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi , "I didn't do anything wrong but I also don't want the taxpayers to be on the hook for this."

Lauren Greene, a former communications director for Farenthold, alleged in a 2014 federal lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and fired soon after complaining of a hostile work environment.

Politico first reported Friday that Farenthold used $84,000 in taxpayer funds from the House Office of Compliance to settle the claim.

Farenthold said he's taking out a personal loan to cover the settlement's costs and promised to "hand a check" this week to House Speaker Paul Ryan "or somebody."

His district stretches from Corpus Christi inland to Bastrop County.

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