HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack has apologized for the way he and his wife treated their official staff.
“I have said things in anger or stress or frustration that I wish I hadn’t said, and I’m glad that I’m familiar with the two magic words: I’m sorry,” Stack told reporters on Wednesday.
Stack held a news conference at the Capitol to address allegations he and his wife Tonya were verbally abusive to staffers in his state police security detail and at his state-provided residence at Fort Indiantown Gap.
He wouldn’t say exactly what he said to prompt an ongoing investigation.
“Both of us are deeply sorry for offending anybody,” Stack said.
ABC27 reported Monday that Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the state inspector general to investigate Stack and his wife after receiving numerous complaints about the couple’s abusive treatment toward staffers.
The Democratic lieutenant governor said he was not abusive, but he says his behavior was not acceptable.
“My wife and I have not been perfect and we are sorry,” he said.
Stack said he has not spoken to Wolf in weeks. What does he make of Wolf ordering the investigation?
“I sort of don’t want to even analyze that,” he said. “I see it more like an opportunity to correct things that can be corrected,” he said.
One complaint alleges the Stacks ordered troopers to use lights and sirens while traveling in non-emergency situations, which is against Pennsylvania State Police policy and a violation of the vehicle code. ABC27 News was told that when troopers refused to obey the Stack’s commands, they were verbally berated with expletive-filled language.
Stack denied that – sort of.
“I cannot think of a moment where I ever did, but let me go back to the point. If I ever gave the impression that that’s what I wanted them to do, if somehow that’s the message that came through, I was wrong,” he said.
Stack was asked point blank if he and his wife have anger issues.
“I would say we have a human problem,” he said.
Sources said the investigation by the Office of Inspector General – which looks for waste, fraud, abuse and corruption within the executive branch – is nearing completion.
Wolf has no comment before the investigation is complete.
Stack, a former state senator from Philadelphia, has a $160,289 salary. His office has seven staffers assigned to it and is budgeted at $1,038,000 this year.
The official residence has five more staff for cooking and maintenance. In the fiscal year that ended in June 2016, the house cost taxpayers $452,920.
Stack insisted he is running for re-election next year.