White calls on House majority leader DeWeese to resignleadership position
White calls on House majority leader to resign leadershipposition
HARRISBURG, Aug. 6 -
State Rep. Jesse White, D-Washington/Allegheny/Beaver, issued thefollowing statement calling for state Rep. Bill DeWeese to step down from his position as HouseMajority Leader in response to the ongoing “Bonusgate” scandal:In November 2006, the voters of the 46th Legislative District honored me with the substantialand serious task of representing their interests while changing the culture inside the state Capitol.As the end of my first term draws near, a conflict between those objectives has arisen.I was sent to Harrisburg to fix a broken property tax system, help provide health care for thosewho need it most and create sustainable jobs to keep young people in our region. Unfortunately,the ongoing investigation into illegal acts allegedly committed by some members and staffers of the House Democratic Caucus prior to my election has become a serious distraction that hasseverely limited our ability to act on these important issues.After reviewing the presentments set forth by the Attorney General, it has become clear to methat in order to honor the promise I made to my constituents to truly reform the culture of Harrisburg, a change in leadership is required. Therefore, I am respectfully urgingRepresentative Bill DeWeese to immediately step aside as Majority Leader of the HouseDemocratic Caucus.The legislative accomplishments and unabashed energy that Representative DeWeese has brought to Harrisburg for over three decades cannot be questioned, as well as his leadership inenacting important legislative reform laws that have changed how the House operates. However,I simply cannot reconcile the fact that although Bill DeWeese has not been charged with anycrime and has fully cooperated with the Attorney General in the investigation, a systematic,inexcusable and indefensible violation of the public trust occurred on his watch. Leaders must beheld accountable for the actions of those who serve under them.I was not a member of the legislature during the time these illegal acts allegedly took place;therefore, I have no factual basis to make a determination of the guilt or innocence of anyoneinvolved. I sincerely hope that once the Attorney General has completed his investigation and allof the facts are revealed, most of those accused will be judged innocent. But with so much of our legislative agenda still before us, the people of Pennsylvania cannot wait for that day to arrive,and the Democratic Caucus can no longer remain functional under this cloud of uncertaintyhovering over its current leader.