HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The workplace of Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro settled a former worker’s declare she was sexually harassed by a senior aide earlier this yr by agreeing to pay her and her attorneys $295,000, based on paperwork launched by the administration late Friday beneath the state’s open information regulation.
The settlement, finalized in early September, stems from allegations made by the girl in opposition to Mike Vereb, who served as Shapiro’s secretary of legislative affairs till his resignation final month. The lady, who began in her position round when Shapiro took workplace in January, wrote in a criticism earlier this yr that Vereb made lewd and misogynistic remarks and that she was retaliated in opposition to when she spoke up.
Her lawyer, Chuck Pascal, confirmed the settlement, which offered $196,365 to the girl and greater than $49,000 to each regulation corporations she had employed to signify her by means of this course of. He declined additional remark.
The Shapiro administration declined additional touch upon the case, saying it agreed within the settlement to not talk about it publicly.
As a part of the settlement, the governor’s workplace agreed to offer sexual harassment coaching to all members of Coverage and Legislative Affairs employees.
The lady also can search employment elsewhere in state authorities, and as a contractor, or with a future administration. She can’t be the lead contact for any contract work with the present administration.
Shapiro has largely averted touch upon the allegations and Vereb’s resignation. He additionally drew blowback from legislators when he instructed reporters to “take into account the supply” when requested about considerations raised by Senate President Professional Tempore Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, relating to Vereb remaining employed for months regardless of the allegations.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Shapiro additionally met with all the state’s ladies Democratic senators because the allegations unfolded.
Vereb was accused within the lady’s criticism to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Fee of subjecting her to undesirable sexual advances throughout her temporary stint working within the governor’s administration.
A former five-term Republican state lawmaker and former police officer within the Philadelphia suburbs, Vereb labored intently with Shapiro when he was lawyer basic. After the Democrat gained the governor’s publish, Verb assumed the position of shepherding Shapiro’s agenda by means of the politically divided Legislature.
The lady resigned in March after she introduced forth considerations over Vereb’s habits, based on her fee criticism. She mentioned the governor’s workplace didn’t treatment the scenario or shield her from retaliation.
An earlier model of this report incorrectly mentioned each regulation corporations bought $49,517. Each had been paid greater than $49,000 however the precise quantities had been totally different.
Brooke Schultz is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points.