By Bob Katzen
Another bill heard by the Judiciary Committee would prohibit public officials from using taxpayers’ money or campaign contributions to pay fines if he or she is found guilty or reaches a settlement in connection with an accusation of sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurred while serving as a public official. The bill requires that all payments of fines or settlements in those cases be made from the official’s personal funds.
“Taxpayers should not foot the bill for public officials who commit sexual assault or harassment,” said the bill’s chief sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). “Those who are found guilty of assault or harassment should not be able to look to the taxpayers to bail them out. Similar bills have passed in other states, and in Washington, D.C., and both Democrats and Republicans passed a federal version of this legislation. It’s time Massachusetts joined them in passing this bill.”