Harrisburg, PA  — Pennsylvania State Senator Katie Muth has called for colleague Daylin Leach to be expelled from the Senate. Muth, a Democrat representing the 44th District, cited allegations of Leach’s sexual misconduct as the reason he should be removed from office.

Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach, a Democrat representing the 17th district is on the ropes, taking hits from fellow senators like Muth as well as from the Governor and the Lt. Governor.  

“His behavior is disturbing and unacceptable from a sitting elected official,” wrote Muth in a statement about Leach. “We must demand better of those we trust to act on behalf of this body as a voice for the people of Pennsylvania."

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Leach has been accused of sexually harassing his own staffers, according to reports published by the Philadelphia Inquirer last year. In their story, it said Leach engaged in questionable behavior with young female staffers and volunteers — ranging from highly sexualized jokes and comments to what they considered inappropriate touching.

And when those allegations became public, a Pennsylvania woman came forward and accused Leach of sexually assaulting her in 1991, when she was 17 years old.

“This culture of rape … intimidation and reprehensible behavior must end,” added Muth, a rape survivor, in her statement regarding Leach.

Leach a former litigator is in a political fight to hold onto his seat and a legal battle to hold onto his good name. His own party has hired a law firm to investigate the charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, that allegedly occurred in 1991.

Charges surfaced in November 2018 but politicians were slow to react or even question Leach at the time.

Cara Taylor, of Bath, PA, decided to come forward with her story.  To get the ball rolling she submitted a private criminal complaint to forty-nine of Leach’s colleagues in the Pennsylvania State Senate.  

Leach, who has faced calls to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to 2017, now has a colleague from his own county pushing to expel him from office.

Newly-elected Sen. Katie Muth on Wednesday circulated a letter to members of the Senate Ethics Committee asking for Leach’s expulsion, contending that he has used his office to intimidate women who have accused him of sexual harassment or assault.

Senate officials called her request rare, if not unprecedented. They said they could not recall another Pennsylvania lawmaker taking steps to expel a colleague. For expulsion to happen, it would require the approval of two-thirds of the fifty senators.

Leach, who had the previous day released a statement blasting Gov. Tom Wolf for suggesting he resign from office, declined to comment on the Muth statement. Instead, Leach’s spokesperson, Frank Keel, dismissed Muth’s effort as “nothing more than a self-serving publicity stunt.”

In the midst of this back and forth over Leach’s conduct, some fellow Democrats, including Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who presides over the Senate, and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale have urged Leach step down.

Leach responded to Fetterman and directly to Gov. Wolf in a statement saying, “I suppose the easy, knee-jerk reaction for the lieutenant governor and others is to pander to the #MeToo movement. But I won’t be quiet while three women falsely accuse me in an attempt to destroy my career and my family.”

The commentary by Muth could push the Leach issue away from his civil suit and the outside counsel investigation and into the secret proceedings of the inner workings of the Senate itself. The Ethics Committee, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, could hold Leach’s fate in its hands. This committee operates in near-complete secrecy. Its meetings are closed and it does not publicly discuss complaints. Only in rare cases are some details released.

After it has reviewed and investigated a complaint, such as the one lodged by Muth, the committee can make public recommendations to the full Senate, officials said.

 

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