A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rep. Brian Linder says he did sign settlement with staffer on sexual harassment accusations

By Mark Maynard
Kentucky Today

State Rep. Brian Linder admitted he signed a settlement agreement with a legislative staffer who accused him and other lawmakers of sexual harassment.

“I am deeply sorry and want to publicly apologize to my family and you, the voters, who elected me to represent you, and the entire commonwealth for my actions that have led to this grief and embarrassment,” Linder said Wednesday in a statement to the Grant County News.

Brian Linder

Linder, R-Dry Ridge, said he signed the agreement to protect the privacy of his family.

“Ironically, that decision has put me in a place where I cannot comment on this entire situation in the manner that would clarify many of the misconceptions,” wrote Linder. “A portion of that agreement clearly expresses that all parties admit no wrongdoing. I humbly confess that I have made some mistakes. Some have sensationalized my lack of comment or defense as a cover-up, however, what they are not clearly reporting is that our agreement included a confidentiality clause to protect the privacy of all parties involved. Due to this clause, I had to get approval from all legal representatives involved before issuing a public statement.”

Media reports linked Linder and two other Republican lawmakers to sexual harassment claims along with state Rep. Jeff Hoover, who resigned as Speaker of the Kentucky House on Sunday.

In a Saturday press conference, Gov. Matt Bevin called for any lawmaker involved in any sexual harassment case to immediately resign.

Linder said his peers have not said it was best for him to resign although he is still considering it.

“I have been asked by many colleagues and friends to not make any rash decisions about a resignation,” Linder told the Grant County newspaper. “My wife has asked me to share with you that she supports my fulfillment of this term if I choose to do so.”

He has been temporarily relived as co-chairman of the Pension Oversight Board pending the internal investigation into the sexual harassment claim.

Linder, who has been in the House since 2013 and has three children, said trying to overhaul the state’s public pension system with a fair compromise has been a daunting task.

“I’ve been very vocal and firm in my resolve to find a workable compromise with powers greater than myself; at times, it has been very heated,” he said. “It has been very disheartening to see people take this private matter and use it as a means to jockey for political gain at the expense of others and their families.”

Linder asked for prayers as his family considers his future.

“We are taking some time to process the events of the last few days and we deeply appreciate those who have reached out to us in concern and support,” Linder said. “I humbly ask for your forgiveness and prayers for wisdom and healing for my family as we move forward.”

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