Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Feds: Stephens OK to run in 151st House District

HT to Tony Phyrillas for this gem:

This just in from reporter Margaret Gibbons: The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has ruled that Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Todd Stephens did not violate the Hatch Act by running for state House in 151st District because his duties do not involve any federally funded programs.

Supporters of Stephen's Democratic opponent, freshman Democrat Rep. Rick Taylor, raised the phony issue earlier this year.

“A little over a month ago, political operatives on behalf of Rep. Rick Taylor chose to make false, politically-motivated attacks against Todd Stephens that besmirched not only Todd's reputation, but the reputation of the entire Office of District Attorney here in Montgomery County,” District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a statement released by her office. “I am happy to report that the federal government has concluded that Mr. Stephens is not in violation of the Hatch Act as falsely claimed by Mr. Taylor's political operatives.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., the former county district attorney, said the timing of Taylor's accusations coincided with the Bonusgate scandal in Harrisburg.

“This attack against Todd and the District Attorney's office was a coldly calculated attempt by Taylor and his campaign to draw attention away from Taylor’s own ethical issues surrounding the Bonusgate scandal,” Castor said in a statement.

Taylor's 2006 campaign manager was one of 12 people indicted in the Bonusgate scandal, and Taylor himself is referenced as having received benefit from the scandal, with that same manager receiving a bonus paid with taxpayer dollars, according to Castor.

Taylor is obviously running scared. Stephens should win the 151st seat and help return a GOP majority in the state House.

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