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House Approves Boback Measure to Punish Corrupt Public Officials

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Monday unanimously approved legislation authored by Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) that would amend the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act to mandate immediate forfeiture of pension benefits when a plea of guilty or no contest is entered, or when a finding of guilt occurs. 

“The judicial corruption case in my area not only cheated the victims of their freedom, but it also deprived the public of its trust in our criminal justice system,” said Boback.  “Perpetrators of public corruption must be held accountable for their actions.  If an individual has already admitted culpability or been found guilty of defrauding the public, he or she should not receive the benefit of a public pension.” 

Boback’s legislation would apply only to the employer contributions to a public pension.  Money contributed by an employee would be returned to the individual.  Additionally, it specifies that withdrawal of the plea by the defendant or the court’s refusal to accept the plea, as well as appeal proceedings, would not affect the pension forfeiture; however, an acquittal would result in the reinstitution of full pension benefits.   

Boback began pursuing the legislation during the 2009-10 session after the “Cash for Kids” corruption case came to light.  Her proposal passed as part of House Bill 1182, but the legislation never cleared the Senate. 

House Bill 1567 passed the House today as part of a package of anti-corruption bills.  The House also approved Rep. Tarah Toohil’s (R-Luzerne) House Bill 1546, which would add into law recommendations from the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice by requiring statistical data on juvenile justice to be compiled and posted on the state website, and Rep. Mike Turzai’s (R-Allegheny) House Bill 1436, which would increase the penalty for official oppression from a second-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony and set a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for such an offense. 

“The citizens of this Commonwealth deserve to know that the Legislature is acting to appropriately deal with cases of public corruption and that perpetrators of corruption will receive the utmost penalties for their actions,” said Boback.  “The bills approved today in the House provide additional safeguards for the people of Pennsylvania against corruption.” 

More information about Boback and her legislative priorities is available at and

State Representative Karen Boback
117th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Nicole Wamsley

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