Sexual Harassment

House Votes For Pair Of Workplace Sexual Misconduct Studies

Jun 19, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

 State lawmakers voted Monday to commission a pair of studies about sexual misconduct in the workplace, including in state government, although critics said they would prefer to take more direct action to address the problem.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Members of a group working to address challenges faced by black girls told the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Education that sexual harassment is a pervasive issue within the district.

AP

State House Republicans are increasing Representative Nick Miccarelli's punishment after deciding his actions constitute retaliation against two women who accused him of physical and sexual abuse--fellow GOP representative Tarah Toohil and another woman who has remained anonymous.

However, they're not moving to expel Miccarelli.

And meanwhile, in a memo detailing the latest sanctions, House GOP leaders included a pointed message to the Democrats in the chamber.

Jacqueline Martin / AP

Pennsylvania will fill the empty seat of resigned U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan in a special election on Nov. 6, the day of the general election.

Wednesday's announcement by Gov. Tom Wolf also will apply to the expected resignation of U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent.

That would leave a special election winner just two months in office before a successor picked in the general election takes over for a full two-year term in Congress.

Meehan and Dent, both Republicans, were facing a hostile electorate in 2018 in increasingly liberal eastern Pennsylvania districts.

Jacqueline Martin / AP

A Pennsylvania Republican who used taxpayer money to settle a former aide's sexual harassment charges has abruptly resigned from Congress.

Congressman Patrick Meehan had already decided not to seek re-election. Meehan resigned Friday, saying he'll repay the government $39,000 he used to help settle the allegation against him.

Meehan says in a resignation letter that his decision is in the best interest of constituents and will avoid the "rigors" and expense of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. But he says he believes he would have been exonerated.

Matt Rourke / AP

As part of its announced effort to curb sexual harassment and abuse in the legislature, and in Pennsylvania workplaces generally, a House committee has held a public hearing on the subject.

Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration says the Democrat is backing a package of forthcoming legislation that's designed to improve protections in Pennsylvania against workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.

Wolf's announcement Thursday with Democratic lawmakers comes amid revelations of misconduct allegations against several lawmakers and state agreements to pay more than $3 million to settle sexual misconduct claims over the past decade.

Addie Lancianese / 90.5 WESA

From elected officials to interns, City of Pittsburgh employees would be required to undergo yearly anti-harassment training under legislation proposed Tuesday by three City Council members. 

Bradley C. Bower / AP

A Pennsylvania state senator who was the subject of allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward female employees and campaign aides has announced he is ending his stalled congressional bid.

Sen. Daylin Leach, a lawyer and a Democratic state lawmaker since 2003, had announced in December he would "step back" from his campaign after the allegations were published by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In a Facebook post Saturday night, Leach cited attacks on his family but also said "how unappealing Congress has become." He said he would instead remain in the state Senate.

Sex Misconduct Suit Against State Reveal Litany Of Abuse

Feb 2, 2018
Emily Previti / Keystone Crossroads

Sexual misconduct lawsuits filed against Pennsylvania state government over the last decade document a litany of lurid and abusive behavior.

Matt Rourke / AP

The University of Pennsylvania has announced plans to distance itself from casino mogul Steve Wynn and comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against both men.

Rep. Meehan, Accused Of Harassing Former Aide, Won’t Seek Re-Election

Jan 26, 2018
Jacqueline Martin / AP

A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who settled a former aide's sexual harassment complaint with taxpayer money informed party and campaign officials Thursday that he will not seek re-election, a decision that came as party officials had begun to search for a replacement candidate.

The complaint by a former aide three decades younger than U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan came to light Jan. 20 in a New York Times report, citing unnamed people. The accuser's lawyer, Alexis Ronickher, called the allegations "well-grounded" and a "serious sexual harassment claim."

Jacqueline Martin / AP

Republicans are taking a wait-and-see attitude after a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who settled a former aide's sexual harassment complaint with taxpayer money said he saw her as a "soul mate."

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said Wednesday on CNN's "New Day" that she first wants to see the results of an Ethics Committee investigation into U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Republican Party officials also remained quiet Wednesday on whether they support Meehan.

Congressman Denies Misconduct Claim, Ethics Probe May Follow

Jan 22, 2018
Jacqueline Martin / AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan called for an Ethics Committee investigation Saturday after the New York Times reported that U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan used taxpayer money to settle a complaint that stemmed from his hostility toward a former aide who rejected his romantic overtures.

Carolyn Kaster / AP, file

Pennsylvania’s longest-serving state representative, Thomas Caltagirone, has confirmed he’s running for a 22nd term.

The news comes as he faces backlash for agreeing to settle a sexual harassment case against him for almost a quarter-million taxpayer dollars.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

As new details emerge on at least $1.5 million Pennsylvania has spent to settle sexual harassment cases over the last eight years, calls are increasing for the state to change its policies.

But a number of lawmaker are struggling to find solutions that will work for every situation.

The latest report—from the Associated Press—concerns a $900,000 sexual harassment settlement the state paid in a 2016 case that involved a Department of Revenue administrator.

Other recent stories have revealed similar settlements involving elected officials.

Pennsylvania Paid $900K Over Sex Misconduct

Jan 9, 2018
90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania has revealed it paid $900,000 in 2016 to settle a workplace sexual misconduct case, its biggest payout of that type to come to light in recent months.

The money was paid to a woman who accused her boss of molesting, harassing and threatening her while she worked for the Department of Revenue from 2011 to 2013.

Opioid Crisis, Redistricting On State Lawmakers' 2018 Agenda

Jan 5, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical that the Pennsylvania Legislature will accomplish much in 2018.

State Agencies Fielded Hundreds Of Sex Misconduct Complaints

Jan 3, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania state government agencies fielded 339 reports of alleged sexual harassment over a recent five-year period, according to data released Tuesday.

Matt Rourke / AP

Records now show all three branches of Pennsylvania state government have settled sexual misconduct allegations since 2010. The claims include unwelcome touching, kissing and lascivious comments.

Screen grab / Triad Strategies/Vimeo

The governor on Friday named a new leader of the State Board of Education, a day after accepting the resignation of the longtime chairman following accusations he pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls more than 35 years ago.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Karen Farmer White of Pittsburgh will step in immediately as the new chairwoman of the board, which develops education policies for the state. She has been on the board for two terms.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

 On the heels of recent Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stories on alleged sexual harassment by state lawmakers, a number of officials are calling for a change.

Carolyn Kaster / AP, file

A veteran Pennsylvania state representative insisted Wednesday he was innocent of any misconduct and said he does not plan to resign after reports the state paid a quarter-million dollars to settle his former aide's claim of sexual harassment.

Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, said in a written statement he was prohibited from discussing specifics of any employment-related settlement, but added that from the start he has denied all accusations.

Matt Rourke / AP

 Pennsylvania's independently elected fiscal watchdog says taxpayer money shouldn't be used to settle sexual harassment claims against elected officials.

Pennsylvania Legislature Agreed To Nearly $250K Sex Misconduct Settlement

Dec 20, 2017
Carolyn Kaster / AP, file

Pennsylvania taxpayers funded a quarter-million-dollar settlement over claims of sexual harassment against a longtime state representative, according to government records, prompting a call from the governor on Tuesday for the lawmaker to resign.

Gov. Tom Wolf said state Rep. Tom Caltagirone, a fellow Democrat who has represented the Reading area for four decades, should quit. Caltagirone did not respond to messages seeking comment.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

Many observers have found loopholes in the Republican tax bill passed by the Senate and House late Tuesday and into early Wednesday. Some provisions were even found to violate budget rules and were changed last minute. University of Pittsburgh law professor Tony Infanti found that one loophole could also leave targets of sexual misconduct vulnerable. Infanti discussed the provision with 90.5 WESA's An-Li Herring.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Bradley C. Bower / AP

Montgomery County state Sen. Daylin Leach says he’s “taking a step back” from his campaign for a suburban Congressional seat in the wake of allegations he behaved inappropriately toward women.

Bradley C. Bower / AP

A Pennsylvania state senator who is the subject of allegations published by The Philadelphia Inquirer that he behaved inappropriately toward female employees and campaign aides hopes to continue serving in office, his lawyer said.

*UPDATE: This story was updated at 2:05 p.m., Dec. 18. 

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

In the last several weeks, instances of sexual harassment and even assault have been revealed in Hollywood, in the media and in Congress.

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