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Wolf: Lieutenant governor was warned over workers' treatment

| Monday, April 17, 2017, 9:07 p.m.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Mike Stack summoned reporters on April 12, 2017 to his Capitol offices to address reports of an investigation into how he and his wife have treated the troopers and state workers who guard and serve them.

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday he had met with Lt. Gov. Mike Stack multiple times regarding complaints about Stack's treatment of state employees, complaints that are now the focus of a state inspector general's investigation.

Wolf last met with Stack, a fellow Democrat, in mid-March. It was the most recent of numerous meetings about the complaints, and Wolf told him “you need to stop,” Wolf told reporters after an unrelated public event in the Capitol.

Wolf said he expected to receive a completed report from his inspector general soon but had not decided whether he would release it publicly. Told about the governor's comments, Stack's office declined to respond directly Monday.

On Monday, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said Wolf had asked the inspector general's office to look into the complaints about Stack. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was incomplete.

News of the inspector general's investigation first became the subject of media reports last week, prompting Stack to summon reporters to his Capitol offices. In comments to reporters, Stack said the investigation's focus was on how he interacts with state troopers assigned to escort him and the people who work in the lieutenant governor's official residence.

The inspector general's office had notified him by letter of the probe a few days earlier, Stack told reporters last week.

On Monday, Stack's office said he has “publicly accepted responsibility and apologized for his mistakes and is taking steps to correct them.” Last week, Stack provided scant details about what he feels he did wrong, but nonetheless he acknowledged he had said “things in anger or stress or frustration” that he wishes he hadn't said.

Stack's office declined further comment Monday, saying the inspector general's office asked him to keep the investigation confidential.

Stack and his wife, Tonya Stack, live in a state-owned house at Fort Indiantown Gap, the state National Guard headquarters, about 20 miles east of the Capitol.

Stack, 53, is a former state senator from Philadelphia who was elected in 2014 on a ticket with Wolf, although Wolf ran independently of Stack and did not select him as a running mate.

In Pennsylvania, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately in the primaries and, once elected, hold what are considered independent offices.

The cost to staff and maintain the lieutenant governor's residence is about $450,000 annually, state officials say. Stack's salary is $162,000 a year, and his duties include presiding over the state Senate, chairing the state pardons board and overseeing the Emergency Management Council.

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