Skip to main content
Main content

Shapiro staffer accused of harassment resigns

Plus, potential government shutdown on the horizon.

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Tanisha Thomas

Friday, September 29, 2023
A message from our sponsor:
In today's edition: potential shutdown, debt pays, future concerns, stalled bills, and decision appeals.  Help us continue this vital work by supporting Spotlight PA & your gift will be DOUBLED.
A top official of Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro's administration who resigned this week had been accused of sexually harassing a fellow staffer months earlier, according to a document obtained by Spotlight PA. 

Mike Vereb, Shapiro’s former secretary of legislative affairs, was named in a complaint filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. The document detailed alleged harassment dating back to February.

Spotlight PA is not naming the person who filed the complaint. The complainant declined to comment.

Read Spotlight PA’s full report: Top Shapiro staffer was accused of sexual harassment before resigning

THE CONTEXT: From Spotlight PA:

“The complainant shared the filing with the commission in a text message to state Rep. Abby Major (R., Armstrong) in July 2023, according to screenshots of the conversation with the lawmaker reviewed by Spotlight PA. It is unclear how far the complaint against Vereb progressed through the Human Relations Commission. He declined to comment.

Manuel Bonder, a spokesperson for Shapiro, said Thursday that while the administration “does not comment on specific personnel matters, it takes allegations of discrimination and harassment seriously.”

Vereb is a longtime ally of Shapiro and has worked with him for decades. The governor's office put out a statement Wednesday confirming Vereb's departure and saying that his role would be filled on Oct. 2 by TJ Yablonski, who currently serves as a senior advisor in the administration.

“On my way here all I was thinking about was, 'Please, God, don't let it be true …' And when I got here, and I saw the glass on the floor, all my products, all my hair was gone. It was heartbreaking.”

Claudia Silmeas, owner of Nat's Beauty Supply, when she discovered her store was hit during a second night of burglaries in Philadelphia
Support Spotlight PA's independent, nonpartisan journalism and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.
We're SO CLOSE to our goal and we want to shut down this member drive at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Lock in your dollar-for-dollar match and be the one to put us over the finish line by making a gift now.

A big thanks to the 422 people who have given so far, including Linda B., who said, "I appreciate and value your nonpartisan, well-researched work."

Join Linda & contribute now »
At Spotlight PA, we put voters front and center in our nonpartisan election coverage. Get all the information you need to make an informed vote this September by visiting our Election Center website

» Complete guide to the candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court

» Complete guide to the candidates for Commonwealth, Superior Courts

» What to know about the judicial retention questions on Pa. ballots

» Una guía de los candidatos a la Corte Suprema del estado

» Una guía de los candidatos a la Commonwealth y las Cortes Superiores

» Support Spotlight PA's vital, nonpartisan election reporting by making a gift now and for a limited time, it will be DOUBLED — 2X the impact!
» STORY FEST: Spotlight PA is participating in Philly Story Fest, a first-of-its-kind festival that brings together storytellers from across the city on one stage. Join us Thursday, Oct. 5 from 7-10 p.m. at the Bok building in South Philadelphia (1901 South 9th St.). Tickets are $25 and available here.

» PATH TO EQUITY: Join Spotlight PA for its first in-person summit on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg. Spotlight PA is co-presenting this event with Color & Culture, a Pennsylvania marketing firm. Tickets are on sale at this link until sold out.

» ELECTION 101: Join Spotlight PA’s government reporters Kate Huangpu and Stephen Caruso on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a free panel on Pa.’s 2023 judicial candidates. Register for the event here and submit your questions to
A stunning shot of a sunset in Berks County, via David S. Have a Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
an orange and purple sunset
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania. SHUTDOWN EFFECTS: The federal government could shut down tomorrow if Congress is unable to pass a funding package, the AP reports. Some federal programs could be affected, including SNAP benefits, which an estimated 1.88 million Pennsylvanians receive. Other programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, will not likely be impacted.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania. LOOMING DEBT: Pennsylvanians in cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are concerned about what the return of student loan repayments will mean for their day-to-day living. After a three-year freeze, the payments will resume Oct. 1, impacting the finances of tens of millions of borrowers across the country
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.BILL SETBACK: Two closely watched criminal justice bills were held up as legislators ironed out details, PennLive reports. The bills would overhaul the Pennsylvania probation system and change the process for sealing criminal records, but state Senate and House lawmakers differed over the legislation’s provisions.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.ELECTION SPOTLIGHT: Allegheny County’s district attorney race has attracted an unusual amount of outside attention and money, PublicSource reports. National megadonors have lent their support to both incumbent Stephen Zappala and challenger Matt Dugan, who have competing visions for criminal justice policy in the county. Researchers say big donors are increasingly involved in local races because of inaction at the state and federal levels.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania. CHARGES REFILED: Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s office has refiled charges against Office Mark Dial following a judge’s decision to dismiss the case Tuesday. Dial fatally shot Eddie Irizarry, 27, during an August traffic stop. The charges include murder, voluntary manslaughter, and aggravated assault.
Join Spotlight PA for an exclusive event on equity and voting. Get your tickets now.
🏆 SMART STUFF: Did you stay on top of Pennsylvania news this week? Prove it with the latest edition of the Great PA News Quiz: Amtrak addition, Taylor Swift-inspired legislation, 2024 bids, and toy riots.
FLEETING SERVICES: Many maternal units in rural Pennsylvania are shuttering from the lack of OB-GYNs. The maternity deserts are causing expecting parents in those areas to seek care farther out, Pocono Record (paywall) reports.

HISTORIC MEMORY: A Pennsylvania man may be one of the last living witnesses of Atomic Annie — the only nuclear device to be fired from a cannon. He gave an eyewitness account of the event to WITF. 

NEW STYLE: U.S. Sen. John Fetterman’s (D., Pa.) signature casual style will no longer be allowed in the U.S. after the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution adopting a formal dress code.

DRY WINTER: A white Christmas looks unlikely for Pennsylvania. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a warm winter for the northern region of the United States.

FARM SHOW: The theme for next year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show is “Connecting Our Communities,” Lehigh Valley Live reports. The event aims to show how agriculture brings people together.

Unscramble and send your answer to We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.
Yesterday's answer: Superstitious
Congrats to our daily winners: Eric F., Joel S., Kathink B., Ted W., Becky C., Stacy S., John E., Barbara F., Kimberly D., Richard A., Don H., Susan N., Elaine C., Judith D., Marie B., James B., Wendy A., William Z., Stanley J., Dennis M., Craig E, Amy S., John P., Tom M., and Dan A.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728

You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.