HARRISBURG — A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who settled a former aide's sexual harassment complaint with taxpayer money will not seek re-election, a decision that came as party officials had begun to search for a replacement candidate. The accuser's lawyer, Alexis Ronickher, called the allegations “well-grounded” and a “serious sexual harassment claim.”Meehan, 62, is a four-term congressman and former U. But he contended that he had done nothing wrong and had never sought a romantic relationship with her.The complaint by a former aide three decades younger than U. Meehan's decision, announced Thursday, came as he faced calls from Democrats and rallies outside his district office demanding his resignation, and as Republicans began to lose confidence that Meehan could win re-election in the closely divided district in moderate southeastern Pennsylvania where Republicans fear an anti-Trump wave.“Unfortunately, recent events concerning my office and the settlement of certain harassment allegations have become a major distraction,” he wrote in a letter to his campaign chairman.This year’s PSERS surcharge will rise a bit less, thanks to “strong investment returns” on the billion PSERS portfolio, whose profits pay a fraction of retired teachers’ pensions.The private management firms PSERS hires, after pocketing 5 million in disclosed fees, gave back profits totaling 10.1 percent, which the system notes is “well above” PSERS’ long-term yearly target of 7.25 percent.Grell, a former state legislator who more than doubled his pay when he quit his seat to take the top PSERS job, said the pension plan was “pleased to play a supporting role in the redevelopment” of the worn-looking state capital town, and hoped to make money on the property — which could, he hinted, house a new PSERS office.
Sometimes, it seems everyone wants a piece of the pensions: • On Jan. Grell said the state was purchasing eight properties that formerly housed the Patriot-News newspaper, across the tracks from PSERS’ 1980s-era brick headquarters. Come visit us at Townsend Road to use our Public PC and Reference Room, ready for your research needs.Researchers wishing to use original records (that is, paper and photographs that have not been digitized or are not available online) are strongly encouraged to make an appointment at this time.But even after he aired his side of the story, Republicans quietly looked for other candidates, believing that Meehan could not regain voter confidence after he used taxpayer money to settle the case.The underfunded Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, which helps many veteran school teachers and administrators retire at close to their working pay, is helping redevelop downtown Harrisburg. Tom Wolf and State Treasurer Joe Torsella are pressuring PSERS to pay lower fees to private money managers.The firm scored a million-dollar profit, turning the properties in seven months. Any number of Pennsylvania developers would be glad for PSERS cash.Torsella, a PSERS board member, said that’s why he didn’t vote for the Patriot-News deal: He worries “a Pandora’s box may be opened” if retirement funds are channeled to local development.He told reporters that while he had struggled with his feelings, he also insisted that he had kept their relationship professional.Initially, Meehan had said he would run for a fifth term.“We welcome PSERS as a partner” in downtown renewal, added Mayor Eric Papenfuse.PSERS bought the ground from Twenty Lake Holdings, which specializes in liquidating small-town newspaper sites.