Louisiana secretary of state diverted $90K to pay settlement

Louisiana secretary of state diverted $90K to pay settlement
Sec. of State Tom Schedler

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's secretary of state's office diverted more than $90,000 from computer system improvements to pay its share of a sexual misconduct settlement involving the agency's former leader, Tom Schedler.

Dollars earmarked to upgrade software for business registrations, the state archives, the agency help desk and other systems were stripped. Instead, the money paid to help end litigation accusing Schedler of sexually harassing a female employee. The Republican resigned in May.

The payments were described in documents obtained by The Associated Press in response to a public records request.

The August deal settling the harassment claims against Schedler involved a $167,500 payment to the woman who accused Schedler of misconduct.

Louisiana taxpayers paid $149,075 of the settlement, plus $35,000 to private attorneys to respond to the lawsuit. Schedler paid $18,425.

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This story has been corrected to show that Schedler was accused of sexually harassing a female employee, not sexually assaulting her.