UPDATE: GOP leader won’t resign after harassment claim

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Rep. Jeff Hoover
Rep. Jeff Hoover (Photo Courtesy: www.lrc.ky.gov)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover declared Friday that he will not give up his leadership post over 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 but said he would “absolutely not” resign. His fellow Republicans in the state House of Representatives still plan to meet later Friday to discuss his future.

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The Courier-Journal published a report Thursday evening based on anonymous sources that Hoover had settled the complaint outside of court. 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.”