Kane’s New Chief of Staff Accused of Sexual Harassment

AG says she's standing by the appointment.

Kathleen Kane

Seems there’s no end of trouble that can afflict the office of Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Now her new chief of staff is being accused of sexual harassment.

The Tribune-Review reports:

Michele Kluk, 34, a Harrisburg-based prosecutor, said the incident occurred in February 2014 in a Hazleton restaurant/bar. She accused Jonathan Duecker of reaching his hand up the back of her blouse and later putting his hand on her thigh.

Duecker, 51, promoted from heading the office’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, could not be reached. Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo said Duecker is traveling and unavailable.

Kluk said many people in the office know about the incident, and discussion of it increased after Duecker’s promotion. Reporters contacted her, she said, and she wanted to tell the story herself.

Whether Kane was aware isn’t clear. “There’s no way I can comment on that,” Ardo said.

Duecker was just promoted to Kane’s acting chief of staff last week.

[Update 3:33 p.m.] Kane is standing by Duecker’s appointment, PennLive reports:

Kane’s Press Secretary Chuck Ardo said Friday Kane’s senior managers conducted an informal review of the alleged harassment incident in the weeks following, and reached the conclusion “that no further action was warranted.”

That review, Ardo said, included Duecker’s voluntary participation. “He went to his chain of command and asked that they look into it,” Ardo said.

But based in part on her managers’ conclusions, Ardo said, Kane is standing by her appointment of Duecker at this time.