Racy Emails Prompted Discrimination Complaint

AG's office under Tom Corbett described as discriminatory against women.

It’s starting to sound like the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office was a bit of a frat house when Tom Corbett was in charge.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports this morning that the office ended up paying $15,000 to settle discrimination charges from a female agent who said that all those racy emails we’ve been hearing about contributed to an atmosphere where women were second-class citizens.

The paper identified the agent as Dianne M. Buckwash.

“There was a culture which discouraged advancement of women who were not attorneys and the people who held power were men. … The Criminal Law Division executives were also known to share racy pictures and make derogatory comments against women,” Buckwash said in her complaint about events during the administration of Tom Corbett, who was attorney general from 1995 to 1997 and 2005 to 2010, and his successor, Linda Kelly, who served in part of 2011 and 2012. Corbett, a Shaler Republican, became governor in 2011.

Buckwash claimed a “glass ceiling” prevented women from ascending in the agency.

While the charges described events under Corbett’s time in office, they weren’t settled until current Attorney General Kathleen Kane took office. The Tribune-Review said current and former spokesmen for Corbett declined comment.

The racy emails appear to be blossoming into a new scandal. They were apparently discovered when Kane’s office reviewed Corbett’s handling, as attorney general, of the Jerry Sandusky case. Several Pennsylvania newspapers have filed “right to know” requests to see the emails, which apparently were sent and received on government computers, violating state policies.

Previously: Report: Probe Discovered Explicit Emails in AG’s Office