Manufacturers Call for Recusal of Auditor General in Review of Wolf Business Wavier Scheme
PMA says business community has “lost confidence” in Eugene DePasquale over delayed report, political ties to ally he is supposed to be investigating
September 15, 2020 – (Harrisburg, PA) The following remarks were made today at the Frederick W. Anton III Center by David N. Taylor, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association:
On March 19, Governor Wolf’s universal business shutdown order plunged Pennsylvania’s economy into crisis.
Unlike most of the nation, he did not follow the federal guidelines on critical infrastructure from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
When he realized that his ad hoc order had crippled supply chains and cut off vital services, instead of reversing course he doubled down with an even more bizarre and inexplicable waiver program, which then suddenly stopped accepting applications.
To this very hour, no one knows who was denied a waiver, what criteria was used, or who inside the Governor’s office made the decisions. We do not know if he favored political supporters or punished political foes. The same Governor who shut down the Office of Open Records and kept it closed for many months has also refused to comply with subpoenas from the state legislature.
On April 30, Pennsylvania’s Auditor General – already a candidate for Congress – announced he would audit the Wolf business waiver program. Five months later, with no report in sight and following a series of disturbingly unethical political transactions, the Auditor General has lost our confidence in his ability to complete this important project without bias and we are asking him to recuse himself.
Even as the Auditor General was supposed to be conducting the investigation, he has continued to receive substantial political and financial support from Tom Wolf. The lengthy delay in issuing the report looks more and more like a stalling action to protect his political patron. Even now, under fire for his actions, the Auditor General cannot assure the public that a complete report will be issued by the new deadline.
In May, the Auditor General said business owners deserved to know how the Wolf waiver process was handled, and we still do. However, his failure to uphold the public’s trust means that he should stand down and allow the professional staff in his office to complete the audit without further political interference.
Founded in 1909 by Bucks County industrialist Joseph Grundy, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association is the Harrisburg-based statewide non-profit trade organization representing the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania’s public policy process. To learn more, visit www.pamanufacturers.org