Reading Mayor Eddie Moran faces sexual harassment allegations
A new lawsuit has been filed against the mayor by the former City Solicitor.
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In a lawsuit filed against the City of Reading and Mayor Eddie Moran on Nov. 10, a former employee has accused the mayor of sexual harassment.
The allegations come from former City Solicitor Elizabeth Kraft, who says Moran propositioned her for sex, and after repeatedly rejecting his advances, she was fired.
In one instance, according to the lawsuit, Moran invited Kraft on a trip to Puerto Rico, “specifically adding that his wife would not be on the trip.” That trip, which was to visit his family in Hatillo in November 2020, also landed the mayor in hot water because it happened amid a peak in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another instance alleged Moran invited Kraft over to his house when his wife was in Puerto Rico.
Beyond the advances outside the workplace, in it, the lawsuit says Moran would often request hugs from Kraft, demand she smile, and make comments about her wardrobe.
Over time, as Kraft continued to reject Moran’s advances, she was slowly ostracized from the office and then fired without notice at the mayor’s behest.
When Kraft pushed back at the decision, citing a required action from Reading City Council on the matter, the lawsuit says she was threatened with arrest for trespassing.
A separate lawsuit filed by Kraft deals more directly with how Moran went about removing Kraft from her position as city solicitor.
When speaking to the Reading Eagle, her attorney, Marc E. Weinstein, put the impact of Moran’s alleged actions and Kraft’s firing in a bigger picture.
“Elizabeth Kraft is not the only victim here. The citizens of the city of Reading are also victims. They lost a highly-skilled and dedicated public servant for no good reason,” he said.
Moran has denied all the allegations, and called attention to his own family and upbringing as a defense of his character.
“Anyone who has come in contact with me knows how much I value my family. I am the proud son of a single mother and have always been supremely loyal to my wife and twin sons. These charges are simply not credible and are outright fabrications,” he said in a statement.
In 2019, Moran made Reading history when he was elected as the first Latino mayor in the city’s history. Kraft was appointed permanent City Solicitor not long after he took office.