The Pennsylvania attorney general's office paid a $15,000 settlement to a female agent who accused executives of sharing pornographic emails and making derogatory comments to women while Tom Corbett, who is now the state's Republican governor, was in charge.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the agent, Dianne Buckwash, alleged in a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the men in the attorney general's office held all the power, women were rarely promoted and executives in the Criminal Law Division were known to email around photos of nude women and "adults engaged in sex acts." Buckwash said the events occurred during the administrations of then-Attorney General Corbett, who served from 1995 to 1997 and 2005 to 2010, and Linda Kelly, who served as attorney general in 2011 and 2012.
Corbett declined to comment to the Tribune-Review and Buckwash couldn't be reached, but Kevin Harley, Corbett's former press secretary, said there were "many females who were promoted into leadership in law enforcement." He suggested that Buckwash sued because she was passed over for a promotion.
Pennsyvania's current attorney general, Democrat Kathleen Kane, signed the $15,000 settlement agreement, in which the office denied paying Buckwash less and overlooking her for promotions based on her gender.
The news of the settlement is not helpful to Corbett, who is trying to appeal to women voters in Pennsylvania ahead of a tough race in November. Corbett recently touted his proposal to change his state's liquor laws to make it easier for women to prepare dinner.
"I think a lot of people want to be able to walk into a grocery store, particularly, a lot of the women, want to go and buy a bottle of wine for dinner, go down, buy a six-pack or two six-packs, buy dinner and go home rather than what I described as three stops in Pennsylvania," he said.