Local News

State of Pennsylvania had paid for,and hidden 3.3 million in sexual harassment claims

Included in the complaints were allegations raised by state police dispatchers, state prison guards, a mental health worker, a university groundskeeper and university students.

Some of the victims say the conduct of their supervisors or co-workers caused them severe physical and emotional problems.

A female guard said a married supervisor made repeated advances, pressuring her to join him on a “romantic getaway to Hawaii” and offering to help her get another job if she had sex with him. She said another supervisor falsely told several others that he had paid her $150 to have sex in a hotel room. Her case was settled for $32,750.

– A state prison guard, who is black, said two sergeants repeatedly tried to grab his genitals and used racial epithets in his presence. He was paid more than $7,200 on the eve of trial.

A dispatcher said a trooper maneuvered her into a barracks men’s room where he exposed himself. She said after she complained, co-workers referred to her as a “dirty lying whore.” The trooper, Eric Zona, shot and killed himself while awaiting trial on charges of indecent exposure and open lewdness. The dispatcher’s case settled for $150,000.

– Another dispatcher claimed her supervisor raped her and that officials tried to cover it up. In November, her lawyer told a federal judge that mediation efforts were premature.

A man who worked as a painter at another state university claimed, among other things, that a female co-worker would stick out her tongue and expose herself to him. The state paid out more than $27,000 to settle.

– A lawsuit by a female groundskeeper at the same university alleged she was subjected to pornographic images in the shop and break room, graphic sexual conversations and “crude and disgusting remarks, leering, staring and obscene gestures.” One co-worker, she said, regularly hugged and kissed her on the lips against her will. She got a $176,000 settlement.

– A student at a state university was paid $495,000 over claims a mass communications professor repeatedly pressured him to date, among other allegations. The lawsuit said the professor had a “long history of sexual harassment and retaliation against students and faculty.”

– The state paid $70,000 to a graduate student who said her academic adviser described her repeatedly as sexy and hot and predicted they would become lovers. He also groped and kissed her, the lawsuit said, and threatened to undermine her academic career if she did not have sex with him.

– A lawsuit settled in 2012 against the State Workers’ Insurance Fund said a woman’s supervisor asked her to sit on his lap and “go for rides” It was settled for nearly $77,000.

All of this, bought and paid for with our tax money-and hidden from the public until now.

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Categories: Local News, Uncategorized

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