HARRISBURG – Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) and seven other House Republicans have sent a request to House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) requesting they send the House Oversight Committee a referral to investigate the alleged installation of partisan lawyers within the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection.
These alleged partisan activist lawyers are being funded by billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg through New York University’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center.
The center is designed to implant trained lawyers for environmental activist organizations within the offices of states’ attorneys general, including Pennsylvania. It has been reported that these attorneys, under terms of arrangement, “work solely to advance the Center’s environmental policy agenda.”
“We all want clean water and air but if these allegations are true, this is a serious breach of public trust, a total lack of government transparency, and most of all sets an incredibly bad precedent by allowing partisan politics and special interests to infiltrate government agencies,” continued Gaydos.
During this year’s budget hearings, lawmakers questioned the attorney general’s office about the program and the indications lead Gaydos and her colleagues to believe that these special interest attorneys may possibly be housed within Pennsylvania’s own Department of Environmental Protection.
The letter expressed concern over “the legal and ethical implications of an activist organization being housed within official state agencies for the purpose of driving a partisan political issue which would have financial effects on the people of the Commonwealth and government operations.”
“Special interests of any kind should not be allowed in state agencies,” continued Gaydos. “I urge our House leadership to investigate this matter immediately. I will continue to fight for government transparency and accountability for all hardworking Pennsylvanians.”
In addition to Gaydos, Reps. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana ), Brett Miller (R-Lancaster), Ryan MacKenzie (R-Lehigh/Berks), Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), Kate Klunk (R-York), Dawn Keefer (R-Cumberland/York), and Mike Jones (R-York) were signatories on the letter.
To view the letter, follow this link
Representative Valerie Gaydos
44th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Brooke Haskell