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Leach Denies Sexual Misconduct as Governor Seeks Resignation

[caption id="attachment_8038" align="alignnone" width="620"] Gov. Tom Wolf. Photo: Wikimedia Commons[/caption] Pennsylvania Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, is facing allegations by former staffers of inappropriate touching and sexual remarks, prompting Gov. Tom Wolf to call for his resignation. The allegations came to light in a story published Sunday by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The paper cited interviews with eight women and three men who said Leach had put his hands on women or steered conversations with female subordinates into sexual topics. Leach issued a lengthy statement in response, denying the claims and suggesting they were politically motivated. According to the Inquirer, Leach's lawyer, George Bochetto of Bochetto & Lentz, sent a letter to reporters earlier in December demanding they cease their investigation into the allegations. Bochetto did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning. Leach announced in July that he would run for Congress to represent Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District. Until then, in addition to his role in the state legislature, he was of counsel at the Philadelphia law firm Sacks Weston Diamond. The firm's managing partner, Andrew Sacks, said Leach has not been affiliated with the firm since he made the decision to run for Congress about eight months ago. "I’m a very good friend of Daylin’s and these allegations are allegations," Sacks said. "It’s very surprising because he’s a very funny man and I hope he doesn’t lose his sense of humor over this." Leach joined the law firm in May 2016. Sacks has been a vocal advocate for the legalization and implementation of a medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania, and Leach had been a leader in the state Senate on medical marijuana legislation. When Leach announced his congressional campaign, he said he was motivated to do so because of the agenda President Donald Trump and Congress had been working to advance. He said Congress had been "silent in the face of Donald Trump's constant assault on women, the First Amendment, the separation of powers, basic human dignity, and the rule of law," reports said. In February, Leach's remarks on Twitter went viral when he called the president a “fascist, loofa-faced, shit-gibbon.” Wolf issued a statement calling on Leach to resign, saying his behavior was "disturbing" and "absolutely unacceptable." "While he has been a leader on important policy issues, this conduct cannot be excused," said Wolf, a Democrat. "As I have said previously, this is not a partisan issue. The lack of adequate structure for victims to report this type of behavior and feel protected is inexcusable, and underscores that Harrisburg’s culture must change."