Just a day after the surprise resignation of Mike Vereb from his position within the Shapiro Administration as Secretary of Legislative Affairs, a news outlet is reporting the supposed reasons.
Broad + Liberty is reporting that Vereb resigned in the wake of allegations by a female former deputy secretary that he subjected her to unwanted sexual conversations during the winter of 2023.
It is unclear at this time whether the women resigned or was fired in early March after working in the office for just over five weeks.
Broad + Liberty reporter Todd Shepherd wrote that the “affair raises questions for the first-term governor about the degree to which Gov. (Josh) Shapiro believed Vereb over the accuser, and his willingness to risk keeping a potential liability on staff.”
More than six months have elapsed since the deputy left the office to Wednesday’s resignation.
The outlet obtained a draft legal complaint that also takes a shot at the governor.
“Respondent [Shapiro] knew or should have known that Vereb was prone to acts of workplace harassment, sexual misconduct, and related behaviors that could create a hostile, abusive threatening and/or intimidating workplace, but failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent such conduct in the workplace.”
The 26-page complaint alleges three “counts” against the administration: hostile work environment, harassment and disparate treatment on the basis of the accuser’s sex, and retaliation.
The timeline of events lines up within days of sexual misconduct allegation levied against then Rep. Mike Zabel, who announced his resignation from the chamber on March 8. Many top-ranking members of the Democratic caucus were aware of concerns about Zabel dating to 2019, raising eyebrows about Vereb.
The former Secretary served in the State House from 2007-17 in Montgomery County’s 150th District. He worked for Shapiro in the Attorney General’s office as Director of Government Affairs and joined the Cabinet in January.
When asked for comment, the complainant’s attorney – Chuck Pascal – said that “We cannot confirm the contents or authenticity of any alleged complaint, draft complaint or written statement alleged to be from the complainant which it is our understanding is in the possession of several members of the media.
We also cannot at this time confirm the existence of any settlement, agreement, or other resolution of this matter.”
updated to include comments from Pascal