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The Latest: Wolf wants state rep to quit over $250k payout

December 19, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on revelations state House Democrats agreed to a $250,000 sexual harassment settlement involving a longtime representative (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor says a longtime member of the state House should resign in the wake of reports that taxpayers paid about $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim against him.

Gov. Tom Wolf issued the call to quit Tuesday after The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported the settlement paid to a former legislative aide to Rep. Tom Caltagirone of Berks County.

Wolf says verbal and physical harassment “is flat-out wrong,” and he supports proposals by female lawmakers “for reform in this area.”

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody says his caucus agreed to pay out $514,000 since 2007 to settle claims by employees. Two involved sexual harassment claims against two members, and five were other types of employment matters.

Dermody says he’s bound by confidentiality agreements and mindful of the privacy rights of former employees.

Caltagirone’s been a House member for four decades. He hasn’t responded to messages seeking comment.

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5 p.m.

Two newspapers are reporting that Pennsylvania House Democrats paid out nearly a quarter-million in taxpayer dollars to settle a sex harassment claim against a long-time state representative.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday a 2015 payment settled an employee’s complaint against Rep. Thomas Caltagirone of Berks County. He’s been in the Legislature for 40 years.

The newspapers cited a document prepared by the state’s Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management. It says House Democrats authorized paying $165,500 to the unidentified woman and $82,500 to her lawyer.

The woman and her lawyer declined comment. Top House Democrats and the 75-year-old lawmaker didn’t return telephone calls seeking comment.

House Democrats confirmed last month they paid $30,000 in 2013 to end a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former employee against former Rep. Jewell Williams, now Philadelphia’s sheriff.

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4:30 p.m.

Two newspapers are reporting that Pennsylvania House Democrats paid out nearly a quarter-million in taxpayer dollars to settle a sex harassment claim against a long-time state representative.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday a 2015 payment settled an employee’s complaint against Rep. Thomas Caltagirone of Berks County. He’s been in the Legislature for 40 years.

The newspapers cited a document prepared by the state’s Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management. It says House Democrats authorized paying $165,500 to the unidentified woman and $82,500 to her lawyer.

Top House Democrats, the 75-year-old lawmaker and the woman’s lawyer didn’t return telephone calls seeking comment.

House Democrats confirmed last month they paid $30,000 in 2013 to end a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former employee against former Rep. Jewell Williams, now Philadelphia’s sheriff.

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