- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania’s attorney general’s office will pay $150,000 to settle a former employee’s lawsuit claiming he was fired for recommending the chief of staff be terminated over sexual harassment complaints.

George Moore, a former human resources analyst, sued Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her aides in December in federal court. Moore claimed he recommended Jonathan Duecker’s firing a day or two before Kane elevated Duecker to be her top administrator in April 2015.

The settlement, first reported on Tuesday by The Legal Intelligencer, was approved on July 21 by Kane’s hand-picked legal chief Bruce L. Castor Jr. Castor joined Kane’s administration after her law license was suspended and she lost the ability to make legal decisions.

The settlement amount covers lost wages and Moore’s legal fees.

In the lawsuit, Moore claimed two female employees in the office made sexual harassment claims against Duecker.

One woman, a deputy attorney general, accused Duecker of touching her three times at a Hazleton bar, contact the lawsuit described as physical assaults.

The other woman, a drug agent, said Duecker made advances toward her at a Christmas party, then came into her bedroom.

Rather than fire Duecker as Moore recommended, the lawsuit stated Kane promoted him from narcotics supervisor to chief of staff in charge of personnel.

The lawsuit claimed Kane’s administration accused Moore in June 2015 of leaking emails to the media and fired him.

As part of the settlement deal, Kane and her staff did not admit fault for Moore’s claims. Moore also is precluded from re-applying for a job at the agency until Feb 1, which is 12 days after Kane’s first term officially ends.

The Democratic attorney general goes on trial next week on charges she leaked secret grand jury material. She denies those allegations and on Monday filed a last-minute appeal with the state Supreme Court to have her criminal perjury charges thrown out. The court has not ruled.

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