State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Wolf: Leach should resign after harassment claims

Written by Dave Davies/WHYY | Dec 18, 2017 6:12 AM

State Senator Daylin Leach is accused of repeated inappropriate conduct with women. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf has called for the resignation of  state Senator Daylin Leach of Montgomery County following allegations Leach touched and spoke to women inappropriately.

A report  in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News says several women described inappropriate touching and sexually suggestive jokes and comments by Leach. None accused him of sexual assault.

"This disturbing behavior is absolutely unacceptable," Wolf said in a statement released late Sunday. "Senator Leach should resign. While he has been a leader on important policy issues, this conduct cannot be excused."

Leach, who has served in the Senate since 2008, is known as a leading progressive and advocate for women's' rights.

He is also an announced candidate for Congress next year in the 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lancaster Counties.

The seat is now held by Republican U.S. Rep Pat Meehan.

David Landau, chairman of the Delaware County Democratic Committee said in a statement that Leach should suspend his campaign, and that the State Senate should launch "an outside, independent investigation" of the allegations.

Neither Leach nor his campaign manager could be reached for comment

Leach said in a response to the newspapers he at times engages in bawdy humor and sometimes touches people when he talks, but never in sexual or inappropriate ways.

He blamed the story on a "whisper campaign" launched by an unnamed opponent which caught the attention of the media.

State Senate Minority Jay Costa (D - Allegheny) said in a statement the Senate will review its policy for handling workplace and sexual harassment claims.

"We're seeking more information about these specific claims and will take the appropriate next steps," Costa said.

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