The Lead

Leach calls report on harassment allegations ‘fair’ and ‘thoughtful’

By: - September 20, 2019 12:27 pm

Sen. Daylin Leach. (State photo)

In a Facebook video, state Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, called a report that examined harassment allegations levied against him “fair” and “thoughtful.”

The investigation, conducted by law firm Eckert Seamans, found that Leach made sexual and immature jokes but did not violate federal workplace harassment law.

“The report did not find that I was a perfect person,” Leach said. He apologized for “participating in off-color conversations and making off-color jokes” during his 2008 campaign.

While not raised in the video, Leach admitted in the report that he called a campaign staffer “thong girl.”

Senate Democrats launched the probe in January, after a woman named Cara Taylor began circulating an unsigned criminal complaint to members alleging that Leach sexually assaulted her in 1991 while he was representing her mother in a criminal case.

The allegation, which Leach denies, followed a 2017 Philadelphia Inquirer article that detailed “instances when Leach either put his hands on women or steered conversations with young, female subordinates into sexual territory.”

In Taylor’s case, investigators were “unable to uncover any facts or information to permit us to believe one version of events over the other.” Leach is suing Taylor and two of her supporters for defamation.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, have called on Leach to resign. Leach has no plans to do so.

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Sarah Anne Hughes
Sarah Anne Hughes

Associate Editor Sarah Anne Hughes covers the governor and Pennsylvania's agencies. Before joining the Capital-Star, she was the state capitol reporter for Billy Penn and The Incline, and a 2018 corps member for Report for America. She was previously managing editor of Washington City Paper, editor-in-chief of DCist, and a national blogger for The Washington Post.