December 21, 2017

Auditor General Seeks To End Use Of Taxpayer Money To Settle Sexual Harassment Claims

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Wednesday sent a letter to House and Senate leaders offering his department’s services to audit legislative accounts and review sexual harassment policies and procedures similar to his recent audit of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
“It is outrageous that the public is just now learning that the House of Representatives used more than half a million dollars of taxpayer money since 2007 to settle claims by employees,” DePasquale said.
“Taxpayer money should never be used to settle sexual harassment claims against an elected official,” he said. “As a former legislator, I know that many members, including myself, were unaware that these payments were made. We need to put a stop to it.
“Based on my team’s excellent work reviewing the sexual harassment policies and procedures of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, today I offer those services to the General Assembly.”
In April, DePasquale sent a letter to legislative leaders offering his office’s audit services to review legislative accounts.
Rep. Bob Freeman and a bipartisan group of legislators introduced and sponsored legislation (House Bill 1257) to authorize the Department of the Auditor General to audit the General Assembly and legislative agencies.
“I commend Reps. Freeman, Schlossberg, Samuelson, B. Miller, Mullery, Simmons, Thomas, Solomon, and Deasy for taking a bipartisan stand for transparency by sponsoring a bill that would allow my office to audit legislative accounts.
“It is unfortunate that House Bill 1257 has been stuck in the Finance Committee since April 20,” DePasquale said. “If the General Assembly would have allowed me to conduct an audit, we may have already uncovered this abuse of taxpayer funds.”
Click Here for a copy of Wednesday’s letter.