Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's new chief of staff has been accused by an assistant state prosecutor of making inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances.
Deputy Attorney General Michele Kluk confirmed in an interview Thursday that she reported the February 2014 incident to her superiors shortly after it occurred - more than a year before Kane promoted Jonathan Duecker, a former supervisor of the office's narcotics agents, to the new post.
In addition, a second woman who works in the office has told supervisors that Duecker had sexually harassed her, according to people familiar with the woman's account. Efforts to learn details of that allegation were unsuccessful Thursday.
Kluk, who prosecuted drug cases, said her supervisor referred the report to top aides to Kane. She said she took no further action.
It is not clear what action, if any, was taken by the office over the following 15 months.
A source familiar with the matter said Kluk was interviewed by the Attorney General's Office of Professional Responsibility about the incident this year.
Duecker, 51, did not respond to interview requests.
Kluk, 34, said that when she learned last month that Duecker had been promoted, "my stomach turned sick, and I just wanted to leave the office."
Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo said Thursday he could not comment on personnel matters. He would not say whether Kane knew about the allegations.
But Ardo said he became aware of a text message Kluk had sent complaining that her experience was being exploited by people in the office who dislike Duecker and want to drive him from his position.
"This is all part of a greater plan to discredit the attorney general by going after the people closest to her," Ardo said.
Duecker landed in his new role after Kane announced yet another reshuffling of her top staff after a string of departures. Before that, he was the special agent in charge of the office's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation.
Kluk said the incident with Duecker took place last February, when she was assigned to work with the office's Mobile Crimes Unit in Hazleton.
She said she and several agents were at a bar when Duecker slipped his hand underneath her suit jacket and rubbed her back. He later tried to caress her leg under her skirt, she said.
Kluk said she removed his hand both times and then told a colleague she wanted to leave.
Later, in the parking lot, she said, "I cried."
Duecker is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. He was a counterterrorism expert with Congress before joining Kane's staff in 2013.