HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — “Incompetent” and “inept” are just two of the adjectives being hurled at the Department of State on Monday. Secretary Kathy Boockvar announced her resignation after an error, on her watch, is delaying justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse.
The Pa. Secretary of State is the latest casualty in the years-long fight full of sound and fury.
State Representative Mark Rozzi (D-Berks County), a clergy sex-abuse survivor, has led the way for an amendment to let victims sue their abusers — even if the Statute of Limitations has run out. It was to be on the May ballot, but has been derailed.
“Victims have waited long enough. My heart breaks for all victims in the commonwealth,” Rep. Rozzi said.
The Dept. of State is required to advertise constitutional amendments in two newspapers in every county for three months after passage. After the bill passed in 2019, the department failed to announce it through what is called, “simple human error.”
Back to square one for the amendment.
“This is an extremely sad day that the incompetence of the Secretary of State to victimize these victims again is a devastating day for them and all Pennsylvanians,” Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman said.
Boockvar resigned and apologized, adding, “While I only became aware of the mistake last week, and immediately took steps to alert the administration to the error, I accept responsibility on behalf of the department.”
“How victims are feeling today, she has no other choice but to resign because she has failed us all,” Rep. Rozzi said. “I felt like this was a bad dream and what I was hearing just wasn’t real.”
Both the Governor and the legislature have called for investigations into exactly what happened and the department has instituted safeguards so it will never happen again.