Top court weighs who may fire state open-records chief

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 9, 2015 3:20 PM

(Philadelphia) -- The legal debate over the hiring and firing of Pennsylvania state government's open-records office director now awaits a decision from the state's highest court.

Lawyers for Governor Tom Wolf and the Republican majority in the Pennsylvania Senate clashed over the issue today before four state Supreme Court justices in Philadelphia.

A divided Commonwealth Court ruled in June the Democratic governor overstepped his authority when he tried to remove the open-records office director appointed by Wolf's predecessor in his last days in office.

Wolf later agreed to reinstate Erik Arneson until the governor's appeal is decided.

Wolf's lawyers said the governor has inherent power to name a new director. Senate GOP lawyers said the state's Right-to-Know Law gave the director a six-year term to insulate the post from partisan politics.

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