Thomas Caltagirone

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Thomas R. Caltagirone
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 127th district
Assumed office
January 5, 1977
Preceded byRussell LaMarca
Personal details
Born (1942-10-30) October 30, 1942 (age 76)
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceReading, Pennsylvania
Alma materReading High School; Frederick College; Temple University
OccupationSocial Worker; Teacher; Community Organizer
Websitehttp://www.pahouse.com/caltagirone/

Thomas R. "Tom" Caltagirone (born October 30, 1942) is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.[1] He represents the 127th District (Reading, Berks County) and was the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a member of the Gaming Oversight Committee.[2][3][4]

Background[edit]

Caltagirone was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on October 30, 1942. Prior to Representing the 127th District, Caltagirone was employed in Reading in private business and as a social worker and teacher for the Reading School District.[4] In addition, he has been a member of numerous local charitable and social organizations.[5]

During his 2018 campaign for reelection, Caltagirone defeated his primary opponent by a margin of more than 10 percent and his general election opponent by a margin of 81 to 19 percent, reportedly one of the largest victories in all of the contested House races across the Commonwealth.

Caltagirone has been reelected 22 times, the most ever for a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. On January 27, 2019, he announced that he had been appointed as the new Democratic chairman of the House Urban Affairs Committee for the 2019-2020 legislative session, and would be working on affordable housing legislation.[6] When Caltagirone serves past June 1, 2019, he will become the longest serving member in the history of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

In December 2017 it was revealed that Pennsylvania House Democrats spent nearly a quarter-million dollars in taxpayer money to secretly settle a sexual harassment complaint against Caltagirone.[7] The $248,000 payment of taxpayer’s money went to settle a complaint in 2015 against Caltagirone by a legislative staffer who worked for about a decade in his Reading office. A document prepared by the state's Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management that said House Democrats authorized paying $165,500 to the unidentified woman and $82,500 to her lawyer. A "sovereign immunity-tort claims settlement memorandum and invoice" asserted Caltagirone's staffer had initially made a claim of $1.5 million for what was called "a complaint of discrimination, among other things" under a federal law that bans discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin and religion.[8] Caltagirone said in a written statement the day after the news report that he was prohibited from discussing specifics of any employment-related settlement, but added that from the start he has denied all accusations.[9] The details of the allegations against Caltagirone have not been made public.

Caltagirone has a reputation as a firebrand with an independent streak. Caltagirone is known to work across party lines to get things done for his District. He has a 100 voting record for supporting organized labor and working families.

Caltagirone refused to support the Democratic nominee, H. William DeWeese for Speaker of the House in 2007, resulting in a member from the minority party serving as Speaker, Dennis M. O'Brien, a Republican from Philadelphia. DeWeese later went to prison for several years for public corruption and O'Brien went on to serve on Philadelphia City Council.

Caltagirone has been the prime sponsor of 32 bills that have been signed into law by the governor.

Caltagirone has served under 9 Pennsylvania Governors and 14 Speakers of the House.

Notable committee leadership service[edit]

Chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee - 2016 - 2018

Chairman of the House Urban Affairs Committee - 2014 - 2016

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee - 1989 - 1998, 2005 – 2014[1]

Chairman of the House Commerce Committee - 1998 - 2005[1]

Chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee - 1988 - 1989[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "The Pennsylvania House of Representatives - Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone Biography".
  2. ^ "The Pennsylvania House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee Information Website".
  3. ^ "The Pennsylvania House of Representatives' Gaming Oversight Information Website".
  4. ^ a b "The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Democratic Caucus Biographical Website for Rep. Caltagirone".
  5. ^ "Project Vote Smart's Biographical Website for Rep. Caltagirone".
  6. ^ "Caltagirone ready to tackle blight, create affordable housing as new Democratic chairman of House Urban Affairs Committee." Washington, D.C.: U.S. House of Representatives, Office of Representative Thomas R. Caltagirone, January 7, 2019.
  7. ^ "Dems' House leader: $514K paid to settle claims since 2007". 2017-12-20.
  8. ^ "Dems' House leader: $514K paid to settle claims since 2007". 2017-12-20.
  9. ^ "'I wanted my day in court but counsel implored the parties to settle': Pa. Lawmaker". 2017-12-21.

External links[edit]