New Mexico governor's sexual harassment settlement more than twice as big as previously known

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign paid her sexual assault accuser $150,000 in settlement payments — more than double what her campaign acknowledged earlier this year.

Reports in June said the Democrat’s campaign paid at least $62,500 to James Hallinan, a 2018 campaign spokesman who claimed the governor once dropped water in his lap and then grabbed his crotch at the home of state Rep. Deborah Armstrong during a meeting months before that year’s election.

NEW MEXICO’S DEM GOVERNOR DEFENDS $62,500 SETTLEMENT OF CROTCH-GRAB CASE: ‘I WAS FOCUSED ON THE PANDEMIC’

The governor, who has denied the allegations, said at the time that she decided to settle with Hallinan because she wanted to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was focused on the pandemic, and I’ll stand by that decision [to settle] every minute of every day,” she told reporters on June 11.

But according to a mandatory campaign finance report filed Monday, Grisham’s payout was much higher than expected. Over the past six months, her campaign paid an additional $87,500, bringing the total to $150,000.

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s office has said the settlement payments are allowed because they relate to an employment dispute with a former campaign staffer, the Albuquerque Journal reported Monday.

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