ShareThis Page
Trib editorial: Blameless Pa. taxpayers should pay no more sexual-harassment settlements |

Trib editorial: Blameless Pa. taxpayers should pay no more sexual-harassment settlements

| Monday, January 15, 2018 9:00 p.m

If Harrisburg’s “#MeToo” moment has a silver lining for taxpayers, it’s the light newly shed on what settling state employees’ sexual-harassment complaints and lawsuits have cost them. And now that such reprehensible behavior and its regrettable financial consequences are coming into focus, Pennsylvania taxpayers must not be victimized further.

The Associated Press reports that over the last eight years, the state paid $1.5 million-plus in such settlements that “have become public in recent weeks,” including $250,000 awarded in December by a jury in a state trooper’s lawsuit and $900,000 paid in 2016 to settle a Department of Revenue case. The AP says Gov. Tom Wolf’s office “is expected to disclose additional settlements discovered in an ongoing review of cases” involving the executive branch.

With all three state-government branches settling such cases in recent years, taxpayers don’t yet know how much sexual harassers have cost them in total. But they have every right to ask why they, not the harassers, footed these settlement bills — and every right to demand that from now on, the harassers, not them, will pay up.

It’s appalling that taxpayers might never have known about Pennsylvania’s already-paid settlements had America’s larger “#MeToo” moment not occurred. And it’s appalling that blameless Pennsylvanians’ tax dollars were tapped for those settlements. What’s done is done. But now, it’s time for the state to stop paying settlements that sexual harassers, not taxpayers, should pay.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.