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Pennsylvania House Democrats pay $248K to settle sexual harassment complaint against 40-year lawmaker

HARRISBURG — PA House Democrats spent nearly a quarter-million dollars in taxpayer money to secretly settle a sexual harassment complaint against a 40-year lawmaker, according to a document obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


PHILLY.com

A payment of $248,000 went to resolve a complaint in 2015 against State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, a Democratic lawmaker from Berks County, by a longtime legislative staffer. The settlement included a nondisclosure agreement, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The year after the settlement, Caltagirone, a legislator since 1977, won reelection to his 21st two-year term; he was unopposed in the primary and the general election.

It was not clear whether Caltagirone, who faced a separate and widely publicized sexual harassment complaint in the mid-1990s, was disciplined or reprimanded after the 2015 payout. House Democrats would not discuss details of the case, and Caltagirone did not respond to requests for comment.
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Hours after the Inquirer and Daily News reported the settlement on Tuesday, Gov. Wolf, a fellow Democrat, called on Caltagirone to resign, saying: “Verbal and physical harassment is flat-out wrong, whether towards an employee or any other person.”

The payout in Caltagirone’s case was in addition to $30,000 that House Democrats made in 2013 to end a sexual harassment lawsuit against former State Rep. Jewell Williams, now Philadelphia’s sheriff. 

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