Former congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) told a reporter Tuesday that he will not reimburse taxpayers for the $84,000 in public funds used to settle a 2014 sexual harassment lawsuit.
Farenthold, who resigned in April, told ABC News that his lawyers advised him not to repay the Treasury Department for the settlement amount.
“I will say this on the record: I have been advised by my attorneys not to repay that,” Farenthold told the news outlet. “That’s why it hasn’t been repaid.”
An attempt to reach Farenthold was not successful.
The former lawmaker has denied wrongdoing in the 2014 case, in which his former communications director accused him of making inappropriate comments designed to gauge whether she was interested in a sexual relationship. Farenthold announced in December that he would not seek reelection this year, then abruptly left Congress last month amid an ethics probe into his conduct.
He had previously vowed to repay the $84,000 settlement.
“I want to be clear that I didn’t do anything wrong,” Farenthold told KRIS 6 News in December. “But I also don’t want the taxpayers to be on the hook for this, and I want to be able to talk about it and fix the system without people saying, ‘Blake, you benefited from this system.’ “