By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Following a hearing today, a Commonwealth Court judge sent the battle over Governor Wolf’s firing of the director of the Office of Open Records to the entire court.
Longtime state senate Republican staffer Erik Arneson was appointed by outgoing Republican governor Tom Corbett in his final days in office, then removed by Democratic governor Tom Wolf during his first days in office.
Arneson (at left in photo) went to Commonwealth Court seeking an injunction to be reinstated as director of the Office of Open Records.
Arneson’s attorney, Matt Haverstick (right), says the motion has now been withdrawn and, instead, the case will be expedited.
“We want a fast decision on this,” Haverstick said today. “We think we’re right. We think Mr. Arneson is entitled to be put back in his office. It’s an independent office, and the faster we can get a decision on the merits from a court in the commonwealth on that issue, the better.”
The Wolf administration says it, too, is trying to protect the independence of the office, saying Arneson’s appointment lacked transparency.
A hearing before the full Commonwealth Court is now scheduled to be held next month.