The Buzz

Paul LeVota’s former chief of staff back on the job in Missouri Senate

The chief of staff to disgraced former Missouri state Sen. Paul LeVota was rehired this week, almost exactly one month after LeVota fired him, officials confirmed for The Buzz.

Ron Berry, who had worked for the state since 2007, was back in the office Tuesday as chief of staff for the now-vacant 11th Senatorial District. That’s LeVota’s former seat.

LeVota, an Independence Democrat, fired Berry last month as LeVota was facing sexual harassment allegations. LeVota said Barry was let go for failing to promptly report harassment allegations against LeVota.

LeVota wound up resigning in July after The Star reported the allegations of two former interns. LeVota denied any wrongdoing.

But a report from a University of Central Missouri investigation backed up one intern’s assertion that LeVota had sexually pressured her.

LeVota’s resignation was effective on Sunday. Berry’s rehire was effective Monday. He is to handle constituent issues and other matters related to the district.

Senate officials who rehired Berry could not be reached for comment. Gov. Jay Nixon, also a Democrat, has not set a date for a special election. If he doesn’t call for one, voters will pick a successor to LeVota in November 2016.