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Exclusive: “I am innocent,” Rep. Dan Kirby tells NewsChannel 4 he was cleared of sexual harassment allegations long before settlement

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OKLAHOMA CITY - In his first television interview, Rep. Dan Kirby answers questions about the sexual harassment allegations against him and a settlement he said he never knew about.

Kirby returned to the capitol Tuesday, telling his colleagues he’s innocent.

He told NewChannel 4 he was cleared in the sexual harassment case long before a settlement was paid to his accuser using taxpayer money.

“I am innocent. I did not sexually harass anyone,” Kirby said.

Kirby said he was blown away when he heard about the settlement in the news.

“I was completely shocked, being an emotional time in our lives. My family had just buried my 25-year-old niece. We were still suffering,” Kirby said.

He said an attorney advised him to keep quiet and, during that difficult time for his family, he thought it was just best to resign.

“I have two daughters that I raised, and we’ve all taken it very hard, so my resignation was done under a little pressure and haste,” Kirby said.

But, over Christmas, he had a change of heart.

He rescinded his resignation.

“Family, friends and colleagues encouraged me: 'Dan, if you're innocent, you need to get your story out there.'"

Kirby said an investigation was launched in 2015 when his former staffer accused him of sexual harassment.

“It was determined there was no sexual harassment. I want to go on record to say that is true. I did not fire the young lady. I had no authority to fire the young lady,” Kirby said.

A memorandum shows former speaker Jeff Hickman authorized more than $44,000 to be paid to Kirby's former staffer and her attorneys.

An email we've obtained from the House of Representatives' attorney said "Representative Dan Kirby was not a party to the settlement negotiation, nor was he even aware of it."

“The public is rightfully outraged with how everything has been handled,” said Rep. Emily Virgin.

Tuesday, House democrats voted against a motion to seat the members, because they said they haven’t gotten answers on any of this.

The House Rules Committee is set to begin investigating.

“We are not confident there will be unbiased results from that, because there are six republicans and three democrats, and there’s only a republican chair,” Virgin said.

That committee has been chosen to look into sexual harassment allegations against all current House members.

Sources close to the investigation tell NewsChannel 4 there are multiple sexual harassment claims pending.

Kirby said he’s confident his name will be cleared.

“I intend to fully cooperate and be transparent and, hopefully, at the end of this, it'll all come out,” Kirby said.

We have learned there was more taxpayer money used in the settlement negotiations to pay the attorneys for the House of Representatives.

They hired outside counsel, bringing the total for all of this to much more than $44,000.