New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has defended settling a $62,500 harassment lawsuit filed against her, saying the pandemic was her first priority. “I was focused on the pandemic, and I’ll stand by that decision every minute of every day,” she said Friday. The harassment claim was filed by James Hallinan, who worked under Grisham as a spokesman for her campaign in 2018. Hallinan alleges that the governor spilled water on his crotch and then grabbed his crotch in the middle of a campaign meeting. Grisham has denied the accusation. “I have not seen anywhere in the country where there’s an independent investigation over an employment claim,” Lujan Grisham said. “I’ve been open and transparent and will continue to do that.” She adds that sexual harassment and groping accusations “are not issues you find anywhere in this administration” and that Hallinan’s claims were not substantiated by witnesses.
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