FILE - PA Seth Grove 1-21-2021

Pennsylvania state Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, opens a Jan. 21, 2021 hearing to discuss election administration procedures in the state. Content Exchange

(The Center Square) – The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee will examine ethics policies this fall after a former member was indicted on theft charges last week. 

Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, said the series of hearings will review the state’s Ethics Act, Pension Forfeiture Law, legislative auto leasing/insuring and legislative per diems rules.

“Theft by deception, theft from charity, accepting cash for a voting understanding, using state staff or state resources for campaign purposes, conspiracy, and fraud are just some of the reasons legislators have been charged over the past few years,” Grove said. "What can we do legislatively to protect taxpayers and constituents?”

The announcement follows the resignation of the committee’s Democratic chairwoman – Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Upper Darby – after the state indicted her for falsifying per diem claims and receiving reimbursement for expenses covered by her campaign.

Davidson allegedly received payment from the House Comptroller’s Office for the claims and tried to pay a witness to lie during the course of the investigation, Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said.

The payments covered expenses incurred between 2015 and 2019, according to SpotlightPA.

Davidson faces misdemeanor charges of theft, solicitation to hinder apprehension, and election code violations. She’s paid a restitution of $6,925 and waived her preliminary hearing.

“There is no excuse – ever, for an elected official, let alone a member of the General Assembly to step over the line of the law,” Grove said. "The State House Government Committee will review the current laws and procedures to make recommendations on how we can further discourage this behavior that erodes public confidence.”

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