Briggs: Officials using taxpayer-funded settlements for misconduct should return funds, resign immediately

HARRISBURG, Dec. 19 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, released the following statement regarding recent accusations of sexual harassment and assault against members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

“Sexual harassment in the workplace is a deeply serious and disturbing problem. My thoughts are with all the victims of sexual harassment who, despite feelings of shame and helplessness, are telling their stories to improve the culture around them and help other victims.

“Unfortunately, I believe that these recent revelations are just the first involving horrific behavior and taxpayer-paid settlements. It’s more than clear that these actions have crossed the line of decency, and they personally sicken me.

“Taxpayers should never cover the tab for an elected official’s misconduct, and I call on Representative Caltagirone and Sheriff Williams – and any other elected official who has resorted to a taxpayer-funded settlement for any sexual harassment or assault claim – to return those funds and resign immediately.

“It is unacceptable that major institutions across the country, including our General Assembly, need these events to be revealed in order to reform their internal practices. I have joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work to renew the public's trust of our institution.

“I am confident that recent events will remind us all of a very simple rule: to treat all people, men and women, gay and straight, brown and white, and young and old, with respect. It is a new and improved world that the ‘MeToo’ movement is guiding us to. We must do better.”