Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay resigned over the weekend amid sexual harassment allegations from a former staffer in 2011.

According to the Patriot News, former staffer Rachel Moore said that in 2011 when she was walking past then state Senator Solobay (D-Washington) he slapped her rear end.  

Solobay resigned after the Patriot News had reached out to him for comment on a story about the incident.  

After Moore filed a complaint against Solobay in 2011, he denied the slap ever happened.  According to the Patriot News no other complaint was filed against him during his time in the Senate.  

“I should make very clear that I am not here to indict him (Solobay), to call for his resignation, or anybody’s resignation for that matter.  I’m here for solutions,” Moore told the Patriot News.  

Governor Tom Wolf’s office declined to comment on Solobay’s resignation to the Patriot News.

12 Responses

  1. When I read the headline, I thought the allegations were more severe: like he said she was hot and offered to dose her with his fire hose.

    Has he engaged in any sexual harassment in his job as Fire Commissioner?

    The article says that Wolf’s campaign manager, Mary Isenhour (who was also Wolf’s chief of staff for a while) knew about his in 2011 when it happened.

    What Solobay did was wrong, but it’s not a firing-offense for his current job (if the behavior has not continued). Clearly, he was forced to resign, but I think he’d have a wrongful termination case against Wolf, if Wolf fired him for an isolated incident over 6 years ago.

    1. Wrongful termination case? David, that is utterly and completely ridiculous. Based on what? He’s not just an at-will employee, he’s also a public appointee who serves at the pleasure of the Governor. I get that you aren’t a big fan of Wolf, but this isn’t a case of worker’s comp. retaliation. He has no cause of action.

    2. Isaac L.-

      I think people should be fired for “cause” (problem or failure to do their job). Serving at Wolf’s “pleasure” shouldn’t be that arbitrary.

      Besides, we’re still stuck with Marcel as State party chairman, after UBER-gate, questionable accounting practices, and a complete failure to win the electoral college. What’s Wolf’s “standard of pleasure” for that job?

      Solobay should have stuck it out and made Wolf actually fire him and give a reason.

      The idea that this is part of Wolf’s “zero-tolerance” policy is ridiculous, if there were no issues in the Fire Commissioner job. Was Solobay asked to resign out of Wolf’s own political knee-jerk cowardice?

      Note: I’m not defending Solobay’s actions from 6 years ago, but forcing him to resign doesn’t sound like the correct remedy either.

      1. I’m not necessarily disagreeing, but from a legal perspective, he does not have any sort of case to make that there was an unlawful discharge. That was the point I was trying to make.

      2. You’re literally the only person who calls it “UBER-gate.” You’re incredibly childish.

  2. She said she did not want to see him lose his job or be indicted…the second comment a tad strange. We have a new standard now for politicians, journalists and other professionals. One mistake and you are out. Will be interesting to see if the fourth estate can hold up their end of the bargain.

  3. Solobay’s conduct is reprehensible, but Ms. Moore’s quote above and the timing of her quest for justice seem a bit off for some reason……

    1. What are you implying? If you read the article, they make it pretty clear about a half dozen times that she didn’t approach them, but only spoke on the record after PennLive tracked her down. Like other female politicos, she has nothing to gain and a lot to lose by speaking out, which is why most of this stuff gets swept under the rug. Her willingness to go on the record is commendable.

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