(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) issued the following statement regarding the Wolf Administration’s firing of Gary Baker and attached response letter.
“The recent response we have received from Secretary Davin regarding our inquiry of the reasoning behind the firing of Gary Baker, husband of Senator Lisa Baker, is frustrating and unacceptable, but typical political partisanship from the Wolf Administration.
“The lack of substance in the response lends credence to our opinion that this firing was political retaliation that follows a long line of decisions made from a partisan bias by the Wolf Administration. Last January, Erik Arneson was unconstitutionally terminated by DCED employees from the Office of Open Records. An August 5th, 2015, op-ed in the Patriot-News cites additional cases of individuals being punitively fired. Those individuals, similar to Gary Baker, were provided no explanation for their termination.
“At the Senate Appropriations budget hearing last week Senator Vance directly asked Secretary Davin if he consulted the Governor’s Office prior to the firing of Gary Baker. While he claimed under oath he did not, we believe members of Secretary Davin’s staff did speak to the Governor’s top staff prior to Baker’s termination. At the hearing Secretary Davin offered nothing of substance regarding Gary Baker’s abrupt termination.
“One thing that we have learned from Secretary Davin’s response is that the Administration should not continue to claim they value transparency. Unfortunately the Secretary of DCED and the Wolf Administration like to talk about being transparent, rather than actually practicing openness when asked difficult questions. It is past time for Governor Wolf and his entire team to stop the political games and focus on moving Pennsylvania forward.”