State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
State House Sound Bites Podcast: NPR | iTunes | Google Play

Rep. Toohil's lawyers release report finding her abuse allegations "credible"

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 16, 2018 4:58 PM
tarah_toohil2.jpg

Rep. Tarah Toohil and her lawyer, Jarrett Ferentino, speak to reporters at the Luzerne County courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Thursday, March 15, 2018. The Pennsylvania lawmaker who alleges a fellow lawmaker pulled a gun on her and threatened to kill her was granted a three-year protective order against him Thursday. (AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam)

 

(Harrisburg) -- Lawyers for state Representative Tarah Toohil have released additional abuse allegations against a fellow GOP lawmaker--along with portions of a House investigation into the matter.

Toohil's team said they want to "correct the record" on how credible House leaders have found the abuse claims.

After Toohil alleged Representative Nick Miccarelli physically and verbally abused and threatened to kill her during a relationship in 2012, House GOP leaders investigated. 

Their full report wasn't publicized, but lawyers for both parties were briefed.

Toohil's lawyers have said repeatedly, the House believed the allegations from Toohil and another anonymous woman.

But asked to respond, Miccarelli's attorney Joseph Podraza said that was totally false.

Toohil's lawyer Terry Mutchler said her office has been inundated by calls to clarify--so they're releasing relevant portions of the report.

"The direct quote from the report says, 'Representative Toohil's statements were corroborated by sources who were contemporaneously aware of the alleged incidences, and investigative counsel found those sources and their recitation of events to be credible as well,' Mutchler said.

Mutchler and her team have also publicized a claim that Miccarelli once held Toohil by her throat against a wall in her Capitol office.

They said the report found that Toohil's story was corroborated by sources who were "contemporaneously aware" of the incidents, and that House counsel found both the allegations and sources credible.

The same, they said, is true of Miccarelli's anonymous accuser.

Following their review, House officials called Miccarelli to step down, and reduced his security clearance.

They didn't immediately return a call to confirm Mutchler's statement.

Miccarelli's team hasn't responded either.

Spokesman Frank Keel has previously said they're disappointed with the House investigation because Miccarelli didn't get a chance to share his side of the story.

On Thursday, a Luzerne County judge granted Toohil a three-year restraining order against Miccarelli--the maximum allowed under Pennsylvania law. Miccarelli is still allowed in the Capitol while Toohil is there and doesn't have to say whether he is guilty, but he must relinquish all the weapons he owns. 

 

The Mutchler Lyons firm's full statement can be found below.

Statement Regarding House of Representative Investigative Findings Relating to the Complaint against Representative Miccarelli

March 16, 2018

Mutchler Lyons issued the following statement in response to multiple inquiries from media related to findings in the House of Representatives report issued on March 14, one day before a Luzerne County judge entered a permanent protection from abuse (PFA) order against Representative Nicholas Miccarelli III:

Reporters have asked for response to a statement from a member of Representative Miccarelli's legal team, who stated after the PFA hearing yesterday that it was "false" that the House of Representatives' investigation found the assertions of serious domestic violence and sexual assault by two women to be "credible." This statement is inaccurate and misleading to the public. The House believed these women and found them credible.

To correct the record, we are releasing relevant portions of the House Investigative Counsel's findings, which were provided to Rep. Miccarelli and our clients (referred to in the findings as "Complainant 1" and "Complainant 2") earlier this week:

". . . Investigative Counsel finds [Complainant 1's] statements to be credible. Through the investigation, [Complainant 1's] statements were corroborated by sources who were contemporaneously aware of the alleged incidences. Those sources deemed the information [Complainant 1] shared to be credible and Investigative Counsel found those sources and their recitation of events to be credible as well." [Page 2 of the House of Representatives Investigative Counsel Findings]

The Findings address the allegations of Complainant 2, now known to be Representative Tarah Toohil, including:

"Representative Toohil alleged that "Representative Micarrelli was verbally and physically abusive, including kicking, pinching and verbally berating her for talking. Additionally, she recounted an incident that involved holding her against a wall of her Capitol Office by her neck. Investigative Counsel found Representative Toohil's statements to be credible. Additionally, through the investigation, Rep. Toohil's statements were corroborated by sources who were contemporaneously aware of the alleged incidents. Those sources deemed the information Representative Toohil shared to be credible, and Investigative Counsel found those sources and their recitation of events to be credible as well." [Page 2 and Page 3 House of Representatives Investigative Counsel Findings]

Indeed, in light of the investigation's filings, House Republican leaders "ordered a copy of the investigative report and related files be sent to the Dauphin County district attorney for his review" (March 14, 2018 Press Release issued by Majority Leader Dave Reed). House leaders have called on Rep. Miccarelli to resign yet he has refused. We urge House leaders to take additional action within that esteemed Chamber to bring their call to bear."

Terry Mutchler and Charlie Lyons

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

Tagged under , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »