Harrisburg, Pa. (WHTM) – For the first time, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro spoke out about his office’s handling of a sexual harassment complaint against a former top aide.

“We work every day to make sure that we have a healthy, safe, professional work environment for all of our employees,” Shapiro said. “We have an independent, robust professional process to allow people to come forward safely and have their concerns heard.”

Shapiro has faced harsh criticism from his Republican colleagues over the abrupt resignation of former Legislative Affairs Secretary Republican Mike Vereb, who was accused of subjecting one of his former co-workers to “lewd and unwanted” sexual advances that were so bad she resigned from her position.

“He [Vereb] stayed in his very powerful position, and the victim was left to fend for herself,” State Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, a Republican, said. “She thought she had to quit her job. That is just wrong. It is wrong”

Shapiro also addressed those comments on Thursday.

“Consider the source when it comes to the President Pro Temp,” Shapiro said.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania fired back at that comment and said Shapiro “dismissed and insulted” Ward, adding that he continues to “let members of the ‘good old boys’ club off with a slap on the wrist.”

Ward said the Shapiro Administration should have taken steps to separate Vereb and his former colleague.

“And if there are women that are struggling with this, they should step forward and come and tell someone. We’ll do our best to try to help,” Ward said.