Embattled Lancaster County Sheriff Mark Reese announces resignation

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Mark S. Reese, Sheriff (Photo taken from http://web.co.lancaster.pa.us/160/Sheriffs-Office)

 LANCASTER — A Lancaster County Sheriff accused on sexual harassment has tendered his resignation effective July 31, according to a report on LancasterOnline and confirmed by Lancaster County Commissioner Josh Parsons Friday afternoon.

Mark Reese, 59, is accused of sexually harassing a Lancaster County deputy sheriff, who later filed a federal lawsuit.

“As the three County Commissioners have unanimously called for his resignation since the beginning of this, we will be happy to accept it and begin to put this ridiculous situation behind us,” Parsons said in a statement to FOX43.  “I am angry that so much time, effort and taxpayer money had to go into this.  I hope that the Sheriff’s Office can now begin to put this behind them and fully get back to the business of serving and protecting the citizens of Lancaster County without further distractions.”

His resignation ends a yearlong effort by local and state officials to remove him from office while he faces the allegations. According to LancasterOnline, a judge was preparing to decide whether Reese could return to work at the Lancaster County Courthouse more than a year after taking a voluntary leave of absence.

The federal case against Reese is still pending.

According to LancasterOnline, Reese testified for nearly two hours Monday before Senior Judge John D. Kuhn.

Kuhn was also expected to issue an order today that had the potential to continue to freeze Reese’s salary and benefits while a civil suit to oust him is decided.

Reese, 59, decided to resign instead, effectively blocking him from receiving pension benefits that would have begun on his 60th birthday, Oct. 3.