- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Two Democratic state lawmakers say they won’t participate in a closed meeting of a House panel investigating sexual harassment claims against two representatives.

Rep. Steve Kouplen said he would not attend Tuesday’s meeting of the Special Investigation Committee because participants are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement and Rep. David Perryman said last week he won’t sign the agreement.

The committee is looking into claims against Democratic Rep. Will Fourkiller and Republican Rep. Dan Kirby and the House’s payment of $44,500 to settle an allegation that Kirby’s assistant was fired for reporting the alleged harassment.

Fourkiller and Kirby deny the allegations. Fourkiller said he won’t appear before the panel behind closed doors.

Republican Rep. Josh Cockroft chairs the committee and says the private hearings are to protect “confidential information of victims and un-elected witnesses.”

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