OKLAHOMA CITY--The representative accused in the sexual harassment scandal says the allegations against him are false, despite a $44,000 settlement paid for with taxpayer money.
Last week, Dan Kirby resigned, but now, he says he wants to keep his job.
He said he got some bad advice and made a hasty decision.
Thursday, he told KFOR he had no idea about the settlement and said he never sexually harassed his former staffer.
Now, both parties are calling for an investigation.
“What we’re focused on is finding out all the facts, finding out why taxpayer funds were spent this way and if it was even legal to do that,” Rep. Emily Virgin said.
Thursday, democrats called for an investigation into the settlement paid out to a former staffer and her attorneys over the sexual harassment claim against Kirby.
“We call upon the republicans to do the responsible thing and answer the questions,” Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Mark Hammons said.
Then, Wednesday, he said he wants to keep his job.
Thursday, he told us the allegations against him are false.
“After speaking with my family and friends, I sent a letter rescinding my resignation so that I might have an opportunity to clear my name and complete my term,” Rep. Kirby said.
“If there’s not merit to it, why are we spending money when there`s no legal basis for liability?” Hammons asked.
Kirby also told us he was never contacted about the settlement.
KFOR obtained a voucher from the state showing more than $28,000 paid to the former staffer and the authorization of another $16,000 to be paid to her attorneys.
The memorandum shows Speaker Jeff Hickman approved all of this on November 16th.
The speaker-elect is handling things now and says he’ll authorize the House Rules Committee to investigate the settlement, along with reviewing prior sexual harassment allegations against current House members.
But democrats are calling for more transparency now.
“Where does the authority come from to take money from an appropriated fund and spend it on a lawsuit like this?” Hammons asked.
They’re proposing new requirements that copies of contracts and charges made to the House be provided to the minority leader within 48 hours.
As for the investigation, Speaker-Elect Charles McCall says the House Rules Committee will begin meeting in January, but democrats are calling on him to appoint a separate group of five republicans and five democrats to conduct, they say, a more bipartisan investigation.
“This arrangement is modeled after the U.S. House Ethics Committee and would ensure that the findings are truly non-partisan and worthy of the public's trust,” Rep. Virgin said.