Under pressure from Attorney General Tom Corbett to explain millions of dollars in bonuses handed out by his caucus in 2006, House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Greene, forced the resignations of seven members of his staff in November.
DeWeese said he asked for the resignations because, in the course of handing over documents to the attorney general, he realized “the continued employment of certain staffers was untenable.” In Harrisburg, the day of the resignations quickly became known as “the Tuesday massacre.” DeWeese underscored that the housecleaning was “an administrative decision, not a criminal justice decision.”
A day after the resignations, the attorney general charged Democratic state Rep. Frank LaGrotta, of Western Pennsylvania, with hiring his sister and niece for “no-show” jobs. Prosecutors said in the complaint that DeWeese approved the jobs, cosigning a document that backdated one of the hirings.
Gov. Edward Rendell’s response: “I think the [Democratic] caucus has been productive” under DeWeese.