By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Commonwealth Court has handed Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf a setback, ruling he overstepped his authority when he fired the director of the state Office of Open Records.
Outgoing Republican Governor Tom Corbett appointed Erik Arneson as head of the Office of Open Records during his final days in office and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf removed Arneson during his first days in office. But Arneson and Senate Republicans, for whom Arneson worked for years, sued. And now Commonwealth Court has ruled against the governor.
Jennifer Kocher, spokeswoman for the Senate majority leader, says the decision vindicates the position of the Senate GOP.
“That at no time was this agency meant to be under the thumb of the governor’s office,” said Kocher.
“The governor’s position on this matter has not changed. He was within his rights to dismiss Erik Arneson,” said Jeff Sheridan, a spokesman for Governor Wolf.
An appeal of the Commonwealth Court ruling has now been filed with the state Supreme Court.