[Photo Credit: By Governor Tom Wolf from Harrisburg, PA - Gov. Wolf at Rally to End Gun Violence Urges Electeds: 'Do Your Job. Protect Our Kids', CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119492812]
Republicans in Pennsylvania are now criticizing Governor Josh Shapiro for the way he handled the sexual harassment claims made against a recently resigned top assistant.
Many female Republican senators have questioned why the staffer was permitted to keep his job for months after his accuser came forward, including Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward.
“The fact that this is a personnel matter, I can’t comment on any specifics and that’s really designed to be able to protect all parties involved in any matter” Shaprio said
The incident involving his former Secretary of Legislative Affairs, Mike Vereb, who resigned in September nearly six months after being accused of harassment by a female employee, was addressed by the Democratic governor on Thursday after he had remained silent.
In September, Vereb—a former Republican state legislator—resigned from his position serving as the governor’s point man with the state legislature.
According to PennLive, the resignation followed an accusation from a female deputy secretary who worked in the legislative affairs office that he frequently made vulgar and sexually inappropriate statements.
“According to a draft of a Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission complaint obtained by PennLive, the women said she could no longer work in an environment where she was regularly subject to lewd and sexually inappropriate comments from Vereb. She also said she was retaliated against when she complained,” a report on the matter read.
In addition, according to PennLive, Shapiro said on Thursday that his administration is managed by “two strong women,” referring to his chief of staff Dana Fritz and general counsel Jennifer Selber.