GOP leader declines comment on harassment claim

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The Latest on allegations that Kentucky's Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover settled a sexual harassment claim with a staffer (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

Kentucky's Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover has declined to comment on media reports that he settled a sexual harassment claim with one of his staffers.

Hoover declined to discuss the allegations at a health care conference where he was speaking Friday morning, just hours before his fellow Republicans in the state House of Representatives plan to meet to discuss his future.

The Courier-Journal published a report Thursday evening based on anonymous sources that Hoover had settled the complaint outside of court. Hoover would neither confirm nor deny the existence of a settlement. Others with knowledge of the incident also declined to comment.

The revelation comes as Hoover is trying to muster enough votes in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass a bill that would make substantial changes to the state's public pension system. Republican state Rep. Phil Moffett said the allegation "calls everything into question."

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6:45 p.m.

Kentucky's House Republicans will meet privately to discuss the future of House Speaker Jeff Hoover after the state's largest newspaper reported that the GOP leader settled a sexual harassment claim by a member of his staff outside of court.

The Courier-Journal reported those allegations Thursday evening based on anonymous sources. The Associated Press has not been able to confirm those details. A spokesman for Hoover did not return calls seeking comment. Others with knowledge of the incident also declined to comment.

The revelation comes as Hoover is trying to muster enough votes in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass a bill that would make substantial changes to the state's public pension system. Republican state Rep. Phil Moffett said the allegation "calls everything into question."



 
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