News & Brews September 29, 2023

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Vereb’s resignation came in wake of sexual harassment allegations

After news broke that Gov. Shapiro’s Secretary of Legislative Affairs, Mike Vereb, resigned abruptly with no explanation, Broad + Liberty’s Todd Shepherd broke the story that the resignation came “in the wake of allegations by a female former deputy secretary that Vereb subjected her to unwanted sexual conversations in February and March.” Shepherd reports that the draft legal “complaint is obviously focused on Vereb,” but “also takes direct aim at the governor” for not taking action.

Shapiro heads to New Hampshire

As questions swirl about whether—and how much—Gov. Shapiro knew of the sexual harassment allegations against his longtime ally and top cabinet member Mike Vereb, Shapiro is heading to New Hampshire this week in his “most visible move on a potential 2028 stage,” the Post-Gazette reports. Technically, he’s heading north to tout the Democrat ticket, but the P-G notes that among the “things to watch” are, “How much does Shapiro talk up Biden — and how much himself?” Also, “What does Shapiro gloss over?” Specifically, the still-incomplete budget and the above-mentioned sexual harassment issue within his administration.

Allegheny County executive candidates meet on debate stage

Democrat Sara Innamorato and Republican Joe Rockey met on the debate stage yesterday, as both seek to become Allegheny County’s next executive. Among the issues discussed was public safety. Rockey’s plan would grow the police force, while Innamorato said she was open to more police but wants to use the Department of Human Services, too. Innamorato tried to distance herself from her Democrat Socialist ties, claiming she’s not a socialist but a “pragmatic progressive.” Rockey, meanwhile, sought to portray himself as “a centrist who will lead from the middle.”

Election Law Advisory Board considers timely topics

WITF reports on the board that most people have likely never heard of. The Election Law Advisory Board, created in 2020, is a “bipartisan board of lawmakers, election officials, and researchers [that] recommends ways to make elections more fair, secure, and accessible.” At a recent meeting, the board tackled topics ranging from Gov. Shapiro’s implementation of automatic voter registration to open primary elections. The Board doesn’t have rule-making authority but rather was created to “review and suggest changes to election laws, assess new election technology, and work with other agencies on election-related matters.”

More Philly looting

The City of Brotherly Love has been making national headlines, and not for anything good. Philly saw another night of looting in the Wednesday-Thursday overnight in vandalism that left “some small-business owners in ruin,” the Inquirer reports. This was the second night of widespread crime in protest of a judge’s decision to dismiss charges against a police officer in a shooting death that occurred last month. Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford noted, “Many of these people that were looting probably didn’t even know this young man’s name. These were not people that were out there protesting for justice. … These were people that looked for an opportunity to steal, looked for an opportunity to destroy our city.”

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