HARRISBURG – Senator Ryan Aument (R-36) and Senator Scott Martin (R-13) issued the following statement today regarding the resignation of Lancaster County Sheriff Mark Reese, which becomes effective July 31, 2017.
Senators Aument and Martin have jointly pursued the removal of Mr. Reese from office since learning he is subject to a federal civil lawsuit alleging he engaged in pervasive and severe sexual harassment of a female deputy sheriff.
The Senators filed a Resolution in the Senate seeking the Direct Removal of Mr. Reese and also filed a civil legal action in Lancaster County Court asking the court to declare the office vacant due to Mr. Reese’s voluntarily decision to go on a “leave of absence” for over one calendar year.
“We are extremely pleased that Mr. Reese has finally done the right thing by offering his resignation.
This case has many victims, including all the taxpayers who continued to fund a Sheriff who disgraced himself then abandoned his public office for over one calendar year – all while continuing to collect a salary and benefits.
Nowhere else in our society could someone be allowed to behave this poorly for so long and not be held fully accountable, which is why we vigorously pursued Mr. Reese’s removal from office.
While we are pleased that Mr. Reese has resigned, this case has highlighted an undeniable issue that must be addressed – what standards do we set for our elected officials and how best can they be held accountable?
It is clear that the current constitutional and statutory remedies take way too long, are too costly, and do not efficiently allow the people – through their government – to address these types of unfortunate situations.
As such, it is our intention to use the Reese case to pursue changes so that these situations can be avoided in the future.
In the end, the people deserve to have confidence in their elected officials and most certainly have a right to remove those officials should their behavior warrant that action.”
CONTACT: Jake Smeltz, (717) 787-4420