A spokesman for Lujan Grisham mentioned they “strenuously deny that there is any merit or truth” to the allegations made by James Hallinan, who labored as spokesman for the governor’s 2018 campaign, including that they “reached a settlement in order to avoid the continuing distraction and significant expense of possible litigation” with the former aide. No lawsuit was filed.

The settlement on the claims stems from allegations Hallinan initially made in 2019, telling New Mexico state media on the time that in a employees assembly in 2018 the governor had dumped water on his crotch after which grabbed his crotch via his garments.

“A governor @GovMLG is not above the law for her sexual and physical abuse of employees including (me!!!) I’ll talk more when I return to the country,” he wrote in a 2019 tweet.

Jared Leopold, spokesman for the governor, advised NCS on Wednesday, “Governor Lujan Grisham, the campaign organization and (senior adviser Dominic) Gabello strenuously deny that there is any merit or truth to Mr. Hallinan’s claims.”

Leopold went on to say they settled to “allow them to concentrate on working for the people of New Mexico during this pandemic.”

The funds, which had been made to the regulation agency representing Hallinan, had been made public in campaign finance filings that had been launched on Tuesday. A complete of 5 funds of $12,500 had been constructed from November 2020 to March 2021, the filings present.

It is unclear whether or not the month-to-month funds will proceed.

Rachel Berlin Benjamin, Hallinan’s lawyer, mentioned the governor and Hallinan “have resolved any differences or issues to their satisfaction.” She declined to supply any additional info.

Lujan Grisham, after serving because the secretary of well being beneath New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, was elected to characterize the state in Congress in 2012 earlier than she opted to run for governor in 2018. She simply defeated Republican Steve Pearce within the basic election and is now eligible to run for reelection in 2022.

The Republican Governors Association shortly jumped on the allegations in opposition to Lujan Grisham and the settlement.

“After years of vehement denial, Governor Lujan Grisham’s now revealed sexual harassment settlement certainly raises questions of why she tried to discredit her alleged victim,” mentioned Will Reinert, spokesman for the affiliation. “Where there is smoke there is usually fire, and Lujan Grisham just wrote a check for $62,500 worth of kindling.”