House rules on retaliation against alleged victims who
report abuse by naming the consultant in a Facebook post denying the allegations. The report states that he had been warned not to take any actions that could be seen as retaliatory and
not to hinder the investigation.
While Toohil came forward and secured a threeyear permanent protection from abuse order against Miccarelli last month in which he admitted no wrongdoing, the consultant never publicly revealed her identity.
House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin said the leadership stands by its calls for Miccarelli to resign, but he technically works for the people who elected him, not the House itself. In order for any House action to take place, he said, there would need to be a resolution offered and a two-thirds majority of representatives would need to vote in favor. No such motion has yet emerged.
“The House hasn’t acted against Nick Miccarelli because it’s become increasingly obvious to the vast majority of the members that the two accusers’ allegations lack credibility,” Miccarelli spokesman Frank Keel said in a statement. “Neither woman has
yet to produce any evidence whatsoever to support their stories. Why? Because none exists, that’s why.”
“Obviously, the complaints were filed and an investigation ensued, and the results of the that investigation (were that) the investigators, as well as the leaders, felt that the complaints and the people who filed the complaints were credible, thus it was referred to the district attorney’s office,” said Miskin. “From what I’ve seen – and obviously I’m not 100 percent, I didn’t talk to everyone – but (there is) general support for the leadership decision.”
Miccarelli, 35, an Iraq war veteran and five-term incumbent, announced last month that he would not seek reelection, but would not step down from office for the remainder of his term.
By serving until Nov. 30, Miccarelli will hit a 10-year mark of legislative service that would make him and his family eligible to receive lifetime taxpayer-funded health care benefits, as well as a
reduced pension from the State Employees’ Retirement System.
Because he withdrew after a deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions, Republicans can only support write-in candidates for the position in the May 15 primary election. Dave White, Republican Party leader in the 162nd District, said committee members had endorsed former county sheriff Mary McFall Hopper for a write-in campaign.
Krueger-Braneky said her bill has 62 co-sponsors including the majority chairman of the committee, Rep. Rob Kauffman, and is modeled on legislation that passed Congress in February with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The bill would for the first time clearly define sexual harassment in state law, install a bicameral nonpartisan Office of Compliance, require elected officials to reimburse taxpayer settlements for sexual harassment and establish standard procedures
to investigate claims made within the General Assembly.
Krueger-Braneky said Thursday that such legislation is “absolutely” overdue, given the climate in Harrisburg.
Davidson also referenced her “#TimesUp” legislation during the hearing, which would expand the authority of the state Ethics Commission to investigate and take action on allegations of sexual harassment perpetrated by elected officials who cannot be fired.
“Workplace safety is not only ensuring the structural or operational aspect of your work environment is safe, but includes creating a culture where every employee feels safe and comfortable going to work,” she said. “We stand together to say that the culture of discrimination that includes sexual harassment in our working environments will not be brushed aside, swept under the rug or tolerated on any level, any longer.”