FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Republican speaker of Kentucky’s House of Representatives resigned from his leadership position Monday, more than two months after acknowledging he secretly settled a sexual harassment claim and paid to keep it quiet.

As controversy continued to hound him, Jeff Hoover said he was resigning as speaker because he did not want to be a distraction for the House. But he said he would not resign his seat in the legislature.

Hoover’s resignation was made on the condition “if accepted by the members of the House.” Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne quickly ruled the resignation had been accepted, and ordered it entered into the House journal. He said a vote would only be required if a House member objected, and none did.

Before stepping down, Hoover gave a blistering speech on the House floor that burned as many bridges as it built, accusing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of spreading lies about him that came from “the deepest pits of Hell.”

And he vowed to get revenge on the lawmakers and staff members he said worked to oust him from power.

“I will fight with everything I have for as long as it takes to expose all of those people that were involved, regardless of who they are or the position they hold,” Hoover said.

With his wife watching from the balcony, Hoover admitted in front of his colleagues that he sent inappropriate but consensual text messages to a woman who once worked for the House Republican Caucus.

Those text messages, according to formal disciplinary charges filed against him in the House, included a request for the woman to send photos of herself wearing a “black lace g string.” Hoover said his behavior was not “unwelcome” by the woman, but he agreed to pay her an undisclosed financial settlement after her attorney sent him a letter claiming sexual harassment.

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