Legislators paid nearly $250K to settle sex misconduct claim

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – 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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