HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Communications Director Megan Sweeney called on Secretary Tom Wolf today to withdraw his support of the legal defense fund he founded on behalf of former State Representative Stephen Stetler, who was convicted on felony counts of public corruption.
“Tom Wolf has stubbornly refused to accept the truth about Stephen Stetler, even after Stetler was tried and convicted for public corruption. In fact, Tom Wolf has spent more time focused Stephen Stetler’s state pension than he has developing a plan to address Pennsylvania’s $47 billion pension crisis.
“How can we trust Secretary Tom Wolf to do what is right for the people of our state if he continues keeping his head buried in the sand when it comes to confronting things he doesn’t want to believe are true?”
Last week, the state Supreme Court announced that Stetler had his reargument appeal denied by the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Stetler was convicted by a jury of his peers on conflict of interest and four counts of theft and criminal conspiracy for his use of taxpayer dollars to fund campaign activities. Despite his conviction, Wolf — the same Wolf who denies our state has a pension crisis — started a legal defense fund aimed at allowing Stetler to continue receiving his taxpayer-funded pension. It illustrates yet again that the bottom line of Tom Wolf, his cronies and the special interests supporting his campaign, will always come before the best interests of Pennsylvanians.
Wolf reiterated his support for his felon friend Stetler as recently as May 1, during a Democratic gubernatorial debate at Franklin and Marshall College. At the debate, Wolf describes Stetler as “a lifelong friend of mine.” Wolf then goes into detail on how he is trying to help Stetler receive his taxpayer-funded pension despite the fact that Stetler was thrown in jail for illegally using taxpayer dollars for campaign purposes.
“I grew up with [Stetler] in York County and he was in fact accused and convicted of a crime when he was a state representative,” stated Wolf. “And he is a friend of mine. I, along with 150 other people in York County, put together a legal defense fund for him and a number of us, including Governor Rendell, served as character witnesses at his trial. Steve Stetler is still a friend of mine, I think he was a good representative and the Steve Stetler I know is a good human being so I did what I thought was right. But I think if you want to look at my view of ethics, I think you have to look at what I’ve done.”
You can view Wolf’s comment at the 21:43 of the video which can be found here.