A Democrat member of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives has announced he will be resigning from elected office after three different women came forward with sexual harassment allegations against him.
PA State Rep. Mike Zabel, who represents Delaware county, southwest of Philadelphia, told the Associated Press that March 16th will be his last day of work.
His first accusation of sexual misconduct came from Colleen Kennedy, his former campaign manager.
Kennedy said in a blog post on March 1 that State Rep. Zabel would touch her inappropriately at public events throughout his 2018 campaign. “On one occasion while at a fundraiser hosted by members of Mike’s wife’s family, Mike put his hands on my back, grabbing me and moving his hand upward and downward in the way people who are in a romantic relationship would, until I leaned away as inconspicuously as possible,” Kennedy wrote.
Kennedy said Zabel apologized at the time when realizing what he had done. She believed his inebriation led to the inappropriate touching. “As I reflected upon that incident in the hours and days after, I considered alcohol to be a prominent character in that story,” Kennedy explained.
One lobbyist by the name of Andi Perez also contested state Rep. Zabel touched her inappropriately while conversing with her outside the Harrisburg state capitol. Perez said Zabel inappropriately caressed her leg and continued to try and touch her more even after she pulled away from the Democrat lawmaker.
The third accuser, State Rep. Abby Major, a Pennsylvania Republican, said a “clearly intoxicated” Zabel touched her while he was drunk off of wine at a “local establishment” in Harrisburg. “His lips and teeth were stained red from wine,” Major recalled.
She said the Democrat politician caressed her and “asked me if I wanted to get out of here.”
Rep. Zabel said the accusations put a “toll” on his family, adding that “at this point, though, I am unwilling to put my loved ones through any more of this.”