News

Wolf vows to appeal ruling he overstepped powers on firing

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 10, 2015 8:58 AM
Tom_wolf_fist.jpg

Photo by Emily Previti/Keystone Crossroads

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf is vowing to appeal a state appeals court ruling that says he overstepped his powers when he fired the director of Pennsylvania's Office of Open Records.

The Commonwealth Court today ordered Erik Arneson returned to the job with back pay and benefits.

Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan says the governor was within his rights to dismiss Erik Arneson and disagrees with the court's decision.

Wolf fired the longtime Republican Senate aide just days after he became the executive director of the Office of Open Records.

Arneson's lawyers argued that lawmakers made it clear in the Right-to-Know Law that they wanted the job to be independent of the governor.

In a statement, Arneson said the decision is, "a tremendous step forward for the Office of Open Records. My position has been consistent: The Office of Open Records must be truly independent in order for it to function as it was intended."

He added he was looking forward to establishing a positive working relationship with the Wolf Administration.

Wolf's lawyers argued decades of state court precedent backed its position that the firing was within his authority.

An earlier story is below:

A state appeals court says Governor Tom Wolf overstepped his powers when he fired the director of the state's open records office.

The Commonwealth Court has ordered Erik Arneson returned to the job with backpay and benefits.

Wolf fired the longtime Republican Senate aide just days after he became the executive director of the Office of Open Records.

Arneson's lawyers argued lawmakers made it clear in the Right-to-Know Law they wanted the job to be independent of the governor.

They cited the six-year term that outlasts a single gubernatorial term, the need to maintain a separation of powers within government and the open records office's role in making quasi-judicial decisions.

Wolf's lawyers argued decades of state court precedent backed its position that the firing was within his authority.

Published in News

Tagged under , , , , , ,

back to top

Post a comment

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »