Chapter 29 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 29K the following section:-
Section 29L. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Public entity”, the commonwealth, a political subdivision thereof or any agency or authority of the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof.
“Public funds”, (i) funds drawn from the treasury, General Fund or any other fund of the commonwealth; or (ii) funds drawn from revenue collected or imposed by a subdivision of the commonwealth.
“Campaign account”, an account established by a candidate for political office pursuant to section 19 of chapter 55.
“Public official”, an individual who holds an elected or appointed office, position, employment or membership in a public entity.
“Sexual harassment”, a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or as defined in section 1 of chapter 151B or section 1 of chapter 151C.
“Sexual assault”, a violation or attempt to commit a violation of sections 13B to 13B3/4, inclusive, section 13F, section 13H, sections 22 to 24, inclusive, 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 on behalf of a public official resulting from an incident or alleged incident of sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurred while the public official was serving as a public official and in which the public official is found guilty of or responsible for sexual harassment or sexual assault or for which a settlement in connection with an accusation of sexual harassment or sexual assault is reached. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent a public entity from making such an expenditure if the public entity itself is found to be liable in connection with such an incident or alleged incident.
If a public official is found responsible for a payment of an award, fine or settlement in connection with an incident or alleged 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 public official shall make the payment using the public official’s personal funds.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), if a hearing officer or a court finds that a public official is unable to pay an award, fine or settlement under said subsection (b), the award, fine or settlement may be paid by a public entity; provided, however, that the public official shall reimburse the public entity for the amount of the award or settlement pursuant to subsection (d).
(d) The executive office for administration and finance shall determine the form and timing of any reimbursement under subsection (c), including any withholding of portions of the public official’s salary or other payments from a public entity to the public official.
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