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Fri Feb 15, 2019, 03:01 PM

Pennsylvania Senate pays legal bills for former security chief accused of sexual harassment

HARRISBURG — Republicans who control the state Senate have for months been paying the legal bills of the chamber’s onetime security chief, who resigned in late 2017 amid allegations that he had sexually harassed two subordinates, including texting them photos of genitals and feces.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scaranti’s office signed off on paying at least $23,355 to cover the legal expenses of former security director Justin Ferrante, who is being sued by the two women for harassment, according to documents obtained through a public records request.

The arrangement, described in a letter of engagement marked “confidential,” raises questions about why the Senate is footing the bill for lawyers to defend a former employee whose alleged misconduct did not involve his official duties.

In an interview this week, the Senate’s top lawyer, Drew Crompton, said the decision to cover Mr. Ferrante’s legal bills was “a difficult call,” but one ultimately guided by the chamber’s policy on paying for legal services.

Read more: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2019/02/14/GOP-state-senators-footing-the-law-bills-of-former-employee-facing-sex-harassment-lawsuits/stories/201902130169

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