Louisiana pays to end harassment suit
BATON ROUGE — Louisiana has agreed to pay nearly $150,000 to end a sexual misconduct lawsuit against a former Republican secretary of state who resigned in May, the state’s highest public official felled by accusations during the #MeToo movement.
Tom Schedler, who was Louisiana’s chief elections official while he held the post, will personally pay his female ex-worker $18,425 on top of the taxpayer-financed amount of $149,075 under settlement details provided by the state Division of Administration. The payments resolve legal claims that Schedler sexually harassed the woman when she worked for him.
Schedler, a Republican in office since 2010, left the elected position five months ago. The sexual harassment lawsuit was filed in February, alleging Schedler harassed the woman for years and punished her when she rebuffed his repeated advances. Schedler’s spokesman said the pair had a consensual sexual relationship. The woman’s lawyer denied that.
A legislative audit released in April showed Louisiana has spent more than $5 million on lawsuits involving sexual harassment claims since 2009.
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