Below is a statement, in its entirety, that was released Wednesday night by Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Caltagirone, a Berks County Democrat.
"I am prohibited from discussing specifics of any employee related settlement. What I would like my constituents to know is that I have maintained, and will continue to maintain, my innocence in this issue. More importantly, I have denied all accusations from day one. I wanted my day in Court but counsel implored the parties to settle because of the high cost of litigating any complaint, legitimate or not. I will not engage in victim blaming. Those who know me best, know that I care deeply for others and will stop at nothing to do whatever I can to help anyone. I will not resign. I plan to serve and continue to make sure that the citizens of Reading have a voice in Harrisburg.
"Moreover, I do not think the General Assembly can objectively police itself relative to these matters within the politically super-charged environment in which we currently live. Therefore, I think there needs to be a newly created independent agency that would serve as the central clearinghouse for all workplace complaints within state government, including the legislature, the administration and the judiciary. This new agency needs to be free of political interference, so that it would be able to conduct independent investigations into complaints. I think it is critical to provide all staff and our constituents with a safe environment — one free from hostilities, bigotry, sexual harassment, discrimination, threats of physical harm or retaliation against staff for the actions of their member. I have made it my life’s work in the legislature to fight for crime victims, children and our most vulnerable citizens.
"My record is crystal clear, I have introduced legislation to address rape and sexual assault on college campuses, and providing women with free feminine hygiene products so they can maintain basic human dignity while incarcerated. I support Statute of Limitation Reform for sexual assault survivors and I have co-sponsored every piece of legislation introduced to address work place violence and sexual harassment. I am one of only four democrats in the House or Senate to have a bill signed into law by the Governor in 2017. As long as I am blessed to represent my friends and neighbors, I will do my level best to make sure Reading has a seat at the table. In conclusion, I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect; but I work every day to be a better person than I was the day before and a better public voice for the people I am honored to serve. And as I have done for the past 41 years, I will continue to work to be part of the solution in Harrisburg."
A Berks County police officer has found himself on the other side of the law.Read More »
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