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Corbett Administration Appointments

It sounds like Montgomery County might be sending some of it’s finest to work for the Corbett Administration.

I’m hearing the following names for cabinet positions….

DA Risa Vetri Ferman to fill in as the interim Attorney General (though she has denied it), Bill Ryan, the first deputy AG, is probably the leading candidate. The new AG would serve out the remainder of Corbett’s term, until 2012.

State Rep Kate Harper to head up the Department of Environmental Protection, an issue close to her legislative interests. State Police Commissioner might be State Rep Mike Vereb, who is a former law enforcement official. (See below)…. Former County Treasurer and State Rep Jay Moyer is rumored to be getting a position in the Revenue Department, something he held in the Ridge Adminstration.

A dark-horse candidate for Deputy Secretary of Insurance is Lower Merion Township Supervisor Jenny Brown.

The (still) surprising rumor is County Commissioner Jim Matthews. Secretary of Banking, something he had commented upon as early as the summer to the Times-Herald. This would “save” him from running for County Commissioner, a position he would have to fight for, given his recent history with the county Republican party. Additionally, the 24-7 campaigner has some campaign finance issues to resolve.

Update: Well, I didn’t take long to get corrected.
Pa Constitution, Article 2, Section 6.

Disqualification to Hold Other Office
No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under this Commonwealth to which a salary, fee of perquisite is attached. No member of Congress or other person holding any office (except of attorney-at law or in the national guard or in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States) under the United States of this Commonwealth to which a salary, fee or perquisite is attached shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

I guess that’s a shame, as Harper and Vereb would be great Cabinet officials. I suppose they could resign THEN be appointed, Joe Conti style.

November 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm
  • November 9, 2010 at 4:14 pmTom

    A sitting House member can not be appointed to a Cabinet Secretary post. It is against state law.

  • November 9, 2010 at 6:15 pmNathan Benefield

    Alex & Tom,

    Yes, Harper or Vereb would have to step down “before” being appointed. That could happen in a minute, so I don’t think would disqualify either Harper or Vereb.

    I think the “during the time for which he was elected” is the confusing statement, because once they resign, they are no longer “Senator or Representative.” The prohibition is on serving another office simultaneously (though that hasn’t stopped House members from serving simultaneously as County Councilman or Township Supervisors).

    That said, I doubt either is interested in leaving the legislature to sit in the cabinet. And Vereb was just elected Caucus Secretary.

  • November 9, 2010 at 8:23 pmTom


    If you read the language closely it says they can not be appointed “during the time in which they were elected.” That would disqualify all House and Senate members who were just elected from being appointed for the next two years (or four years in the case of Senators). That’s why you don’t see Governor’s appointing House/Senate members to their Cabinet.


  • November 10, 2010 at 6:23 amTom is Right

    Tom is right. In the case of Joe Conti, he “retired” by not running again. He became head of the LCB in December 2006 — 13 days after the end of the full term to which he had been elected. No House or Senate member who just won election, nor any Senator who is in the middle of his or her term, can be appointed as a Cabinet secretary.

  • November 10, 2010 at 6:25 amTom is Right

    By the way, it is shocking — SHOCKING, I say — that Nathan and the Commonwealth Foundation doesn’t know this. I thought they were geniuses. I am now disillusioned. So sad.

  • November 10, 2010 at 6:58 amLove, Barry

    Jim Matthews has to take anything Corbett might be willing to give him. He’s boxed in in Montco. He has precisely no chance at being re-elected, and a much better chance of being arrested. He is the single most hated person in the Republican Party in the county. Since he will get beaten badly if he tries to run, he needs a way out. Sweeping the floor in some obscure state office may be all he is qualified for, and if offered, he has to grab it. The big question is whether the county will ever recover from Matthews’ treachery. He really is that bad. Maybe he can do for the state what he has done for Montco? Something which must weigh heavily on the mind of the Governor-elect. Still, with the crook Asher, anything is possible. Honor among theives and all that.

  • November 10, 2010 at 10:26 amKarl Kaplan

    This post shows how MontCo-centric this website is. There is no way Harper was ever being considered for DEP – lets be real about that.

    Also – see the Supreme Court decision regarding former member Jeff Coy. Harper/Vereb/other elected officials cannot be appointed to the cabinet during the balance of the 2011-12 legislative session.

  • November 10, 2010 at 3:35 pmJim M.

    With Joe Hoeffel currently criss-crossing the state to lay the groundwork for his 2012 Auditor General bid, Joe and Jimmy Matthews might be reunited after all…but this time in Harrisburg, not Norristown…would it be a conflict for Joe to audit the books of Jim Matthews’ PA Banking Dept?

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