HARRISBURG -- Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa called for the resignation of Sen. Daylin Leach Thursday following an independent counsel's preliminary report and investigation of allegations against the Montgomery County Democrat.
"What we have already seen from the independent review shows irresponsible behavior and an unacceptable workplace for the staff of this caucus," said Sen. Costa, a Democrat who represents a part of Allegheny County. "Sen. Leach's course of conduct created an unprofessional and sexualized environment. That should not be tolerated in any workplace; we will not tolerate it here. For this reason, I believe Senator Leach should resign from the Senate."
The investigation, led by law firm Eckert Seamans, looked into nine allegations against Sen. Leach, which included sexual assault, inappropriate comments, inappropriate touching, jokes of sexual nature and a video clip that could classified as pornographic shown in his office.
The report concluded that there was "no evidence of actionable discrimination or harassment in violation of applicable law or Caucus policies." It added that Sen. Leach engaged in joking and humor that was immature and unprofessional, and that jokes with a sexual contact could create hostile work environment.
In response to the report, Sen. Leach said in part, "I am gratified that the investigation ordered by Sen. Jay Costa as Democratic Leader of the Senate has absolved me of false charges made against me. Specifically, the report says there was no evidence that I ever engaged in any behavior that could be called sexual harassment, predatory, discriminatory or illegal. Further they concluded that I have never violated any senate policy."
Though, Sen. Costa disputed the senator's claim about being absolved.
A news release from Sen. Costa said that the Senate Democratic Caucus reviewed the report and that it "found a lengthy pattern of troubling behavior spanning several years regarding Senator Leach’s interactions with a number of women."
"The Senate Democratic Caucus is committed to an environment free of sexual or other forms harassment and intimidation; and expects its members to stay far away from the clear lines which define appropriate public behavior," the minority leader concluded. "We will continue this commitment in word and in action."
You can read Sen. Leach's full statement below:
Back in January Senator Leach filed paperwork to sue a woman who accused him of sexual assault as well as two individuals who shared the accuser’s story.
The woman claims the Democratic Senator sexually assaulted her when she was 17 years old and Leach was a 30-year-old lawyer defending her mother on attempted murder charges.
Following the lawsuit filed by Leach, Both Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman called for his resignation.