Embattled Pa. Rep. Nick Miccarelli will be a no-show when House convenes today

Jan Murphy - [email protected]
In this Monday, Feb. 5, photo, state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware, speaks a press conference in the Capitol Media Center, Harrisburg. Miccarelli is the subject of a temporary protection from abuse granted Friday to state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township. - Blaine Shahan/LNP via AP

State Rep. Nick Miccarelli will not be in Harrisburg today as the House of Representatives returns to the Capitol for the start the spring legislative session, PennLive is reporting.

A spokesman for the five-term Delaware County Republican House member issued a statement to PennLive on Sunday saying the legislator plans to be in his district office instead, but not by choice.

He is complying with the terms of a temporary protection from abuse order issued by a Luzerne County judge against Miccarelli on Friday. It bars him from being around or having contact with Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Luzerne County, who sought the order. It also bars him from possessing firearms. Toohil said he has carried a weapon on the House floor, which is permitted.

Miccarelli’s spokesman Frank Keel said the representative “immediately complied upon service of the PFA Order and turned over his firearms to the local police chief, despite not being notified in advance.”

A hearing on whether to make the restraining order permanent is scheduled for Thursday.

“In the midst of this well-orchestrated smear campaign against Rep. Nick Miccarelli, he cannot and will not be at the Capitol on Monday, but will be in his district office,” said the statement from Keel.

“He will not willingly submit to the ‘Jerry Springer’ environment his accusers wish to create in Harrisburg. Furthermore, the temporary PFA order is expansive, unprecedented and unwarranted. It was pushed through by Toohil without all the facts and without affording Nick the opportunity to be heard. He looks forward to being able to tell his side of the story and present the actual facts to the judge this Thursday.”

Keel says Miccarelli is innocent of the accusations of sexual and physical assaults, intimidation and harassment that have been raised against him by Toohil and a Harrisburg political consultant, both of whom he once dated.

In petitioning the court for the restraining order, Tohill alleged that in 2012, Miccarelli pointed a gun at her, threatening to kill her and himself by crashing his car while driving 100 mph. She also indicated that he harassed and stalked her after their relationship ended to the point that she attached a note to her life insurance policy saying that in the event of her death, he should be investigated.

Along with other abusive behavior she detailed in the court documents, she stated that Miccarelli had an obsession with former state Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer’s public suicide in 1987.

Threats, intimidation and his obsession with violence and firearms causes me great concern for myself and my entire family and coworkers,” she stated in requesting the PFA.

In his statement, Keel called it sickening that Miccarelli, “an 18-year military veteran who fought on the front lines of foreign wars to protect the rights of all Americans and is just two years shy of earning his military pension, is now being deprived of his rights to defend himself and could lose everything based on nothing more than baseless allegations.

He continues, “In regards to his accusers’ shameless and constant references to the tragic suicide death of [Budd] Dwyer, it’s a disgusting lie that needs to end now. The Dwyer family has suffered enough. For Nick’s accusers to continue to invoke this tragedy is beyond indecent and demonstrates the ruthless attack he is facing.”

The Dauphin County District Attorney’s office has confirmed it is investigating the allegations of abusive and assaultive behavior that Toohil and another woman, who also dated Miccarelli, have raised. The DA’s involvement arose out of a complaint that the women filed on Feb. 8 with the House of Representatives claiming Miccarelli violated the chamber’s workplace harassment policy.

In the midst of the House inquiry into those allegations, all eight House Republican leaders called on Miccarelli to resign as did Gov. Tom Wolf and some House Democrats.

Miccarelli has refused to do so and his spokesman said the lawmaker has done nothing wrong “and will continue to fight these outrageous and baseless allegations against him.”

In this Monday, Feb. 5, photo, state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware, speaks a press conference in the Capitol Media Center, Harrisburg. Miccarelli is the subject of a temporary protection from abuse granted Friday to state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_119914380-10bb4c1a58e04e9e9e6f4d610ae619de-1.jpgIn this Monday, Feb. 5, photo, state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware, speaks a press conference in the Capitol Media Center, Harrisburg. Miccarelli is the subject of a temporary protection from abuse granted Friday to state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township. Blaine Shahan/LNP via AP

Jan Murphy

[email protected]