Chapter 268A of the General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after section 25 the following section:-
Section 25A. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
"Public entity", means the commonwealth or an agency or authority of the commonwealth or a local unit of government.
"Public funds", means
(i) funds drawn from the treasury or other fund of the commonwealth, or
(ii) funds drawn from revenue collected or imposed by a local unit of government.
“Campaign account”, an account established by a candidate for political office as defined in section 19 of chapter 55.
"Public official", an individual who holds an elective or appointive office of a public entity.
"Sexual harassment", a form of sex discrimination as defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Sexual assault”, a violation or attempt to commit a violation of section 13B, 13B1/2, 13B3/4, 13F, 13H, 22, 22A, 22B, 22C, 23, 23A, 23B, 24 or section 24B of chapter 265 or section 3 of chapter 272.
(b) A public entity shall not make an expenditure of public funds, nor shall a public official make an expenditure from a campaign account, to settle a claim or action resulting from an incident of sexual harassment or sexual assault in which a public official is found guilty, responsible or reaches a settlement in connection with an accusation of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that occurred while the official was serving as a public official.
In cases where a public official is found responsible for a payment of an award, fine or settlement in connection with an incident of sexual harassment or sexual assault made pursuant to a decision of a hearing officer or a court in a civil or criminal action or a settlement agreement, the payment shall be made from the personal funds of the public official.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), If the public official is found by a decision of a hearing officer or a court to be unable to pay the award or settlement as described in subsection (b), the payment of the claim or settlement may be made by a public entity, provided that the public official shall reimburse the public entity for the amount of the award or settlement for the claim involved.
(d) The executive office of administration and finance shall determine the form and timing of any reimbursement under subsection (c), including any withholding of portions of the salary or other payments from a public entity to the public official.
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