With Rep Boyle still MIA, Dems look to circumvent traditional Ethics investigations with new “double-secret mental health fitness committee”

09 May 2024- Pennsylvania House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said Wednesday he voted against and will refuse to participate in the House Democrats’ secret committee, which was advanced and approved by House Democrats today, that lacks due process and can secretly punish lawmakers.

“The double-secret mental health fitness committee created by House Democrats to investigate one of their own members is the most dangerous proposal I have seen during my time in the Legislature. It is a partisan committee, completely shut off from public oversight and transparency, that goes against American values by privately determining the fate of elected officials,” Cutler said. “I will not participate in a weaponized retribution committee that can make determinations, violate health privacy, and adjudicate member fitness entirely outside of the public view and does not allow minority positions.”

This committee’s creation is directly related to the questions surrounding Democrat Pennsylvania Representative Kevin Boyle, who has been absent for weeks following a series of actions including berating bar staff at an establishment in Philadelphia, having a warrant issued then pulled for his arrest on PFA violations, but all the while being voted in by other House Democrats. The voting has been going on for almost a month, with Democrats holding a knife’s edge majority in the House.

Boyle has since announced that he is seeking treatment for his alcohol and other dependencies and has also lost the primary for his House seat during last month’s primary election. Still, Democrats, it appears, are trying to circumvent the traditional Ethics Committee route to remove Boyle from office without a massive public stink being made.

Cutler warned the creation of the committee should send an alarm bell, not just to members of the House who happen to cross their caucus leadership, but to all Pennsylvanians.

“If this is how Democrats wish to treat members of the House, the public should be concerned about what they would have in mind for justice for the general public,” Cutler said. “Much like we have laws and consequences already in place to provide justice in our daily lives, there are already constitutional and internal rules governing how to appropriately deal with members who are no longer fit to serve. We should be using the tools at our disposal to engage in holding members responsible for their conduct, not souped up secret legislative courts that deny basic rights to the accused.”