HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Latest on sexual harassment claim payments by the Pennsylvania Legislature (all times local):
A veteran Pennsylvania state representative says he’s innocent of misconduct and does not plan to resign after reports the state paid a quarter-million-dollar settlement over his former aide’s claim of sexual harassment.
Berks County Democratic Rep. Tom Caltagirone issued a statement Wednesday that said he was prohibited from discussing specifics of any employment-related settlement.
He says he’s denied all accusations from the start and was urged to settle because it would be expensive to fight it.
Caltagirone says the state needs a new agency to “police itself relative to these matters” without political interference.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says Caltagirone should resign.
Pennsylvania’s governor says he wants to see changes in a state government self-insurance program that funded a quarter-million-dollar settlement over sexual harassment allegations against a state lawmaker.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he learned this week about the settlement with and payment to a former legislative assistant to Democratic state Rep. Tom Caltagirone of Berks County.
Wolf says he wants to prevent using the fund for cases of abusive behavior by elected officials. He’s ordering the agency that runs it to make changes.
The governor says the program shouldn’t be used to indemnify people who don’t work in the executive branch of state government.
His comments came a day after The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first revealed that Pennsylvania taxpayers funded the 2015 payment.
Pennsylvania’s independently elected fiscal watchdog says taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to settle sexual harassment claims against elected officials.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat, said Wednesday that the practice should stop.
His comments came a day after The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first revealed that Pennsylvania taxpayers funded a quarter-million-dollar settlement in 2015 over a former legislative aide’s claims of sexual harassment against longtime Democratic state Rep. Thomas Caltagirone.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is calling for Caltagirone to resign. Caltagirone’s not returning phone calls and House officials aren’t saying which lawmakers knew about the settlement.
House Democratic leader Frank Dermody says there was a non-disclosure agreement and Wolf’s administration says the governor didn’t know about the Caltagirone settlement until Tuesday.