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Wolf’s Dismissals Spotlight Agency Independence

June 29, 2015

The Legal Intelligencer
By Lizzy McLellan

In two recent dismissals or demotions of Pennsylvania officials Gov. Tom Wolf, arguments against those actions centered on the idea that the government agencies at hand should be independent from the executive branch. But that also raised the question of which offices require insulation from the governor’s influence.

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But Gregory M. Harvey, an election law attorney at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, disagreed.

“To be removed as chairman is a removal from the office of chairman,” Harvey said. “The specific pieces of the statute and the overall structure of the statute support the proposal that the chairman cannot be removed for a reason not having to do with a failure of the chairman to perform his or her duties.”

Harvey said Green’s case, had he sued, may actually have been stronger than Arneson’s based on the statutory scheme. Ledewitz said the same.

[…]

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