Politics

Massachusetts Taxpayers Paid $1 Million in State House Lawyer Fees

Over five years, constituents have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to attorney retainers.

The Massachusetts State House

Photo via iStock/RodrigoBlanco

The drumbeat of sexual harassment allegations that have come to the fore since brave women spoke out against Harvey Weinstein hurtles on at its disheartening pace. And yet, despite the barrage of anecdotes, it’s highly likely that many remain untold—forcibly.

The Boston Herald reports that in the last five years, Massachusetts taxpayers have contributed $1 million toward attorneys’ fees for State Representatives, State Senators, and their staffers. The state fund is “similar to the one used by Congress” as a federal pot of dollars used to pay $15 million to settle sexual harassment allegations.

Both the state House and Senate told the Herald that the bodies retained “human resource” firms and denied having settled sexual harassment claims in the last half decade.

Last month, the Boston Globe revealed that Beacon Hill is plagued by sexual harassment, and Gov. Charlie Baker directed his staff to take a deep dive into the administration’s zero-tolerance policy. House Speaker Robert DeLeo initiated a formal review of the House’s rules and regulations and committed to fully investigate any allegations.

This story was updated at 10:50 a.m. on November 27 to indicate the money went toward the attorneys’ fees of State Representatives and State Senators, not Congressmen.