WILKES-BARRE — The chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Monday called for the immediate resignation of State Rep. Nick Miccarelli, against whom state Rep. Tarah Toohil on Friday received a temporary protection from abuse order.
“Given the allegations and his non-responsive blanket denials to them, the representative should resign immediately,” said Jack Hanna, state Democratic Party chairman. ”
“The assault and harassment claims alleged against Nick Miccarelli are some of the most horrific and egregious charges asserted against any state public official in recent memory,” Hanna added. “He is unfit to serve in Harrisburg. No one should ever endure this type of abuse perpetrated by anyone let alone an elected public official.”
Some members of Miccarelli’s own party also have called for him to step down, after allegations of abusive behavior made by two other women in interviews with other media outlets. Efforts to reach a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Republican Party were unsuccessful on Monday.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives returned to session on Monday amid tighter security after Toohil, R-Butler Township, alleged she was threatened and intimidated by Miccarelli, who she says carries a gun to the capital.
She said he threatened her with a gun when they were still dating in 2012, and engaged in physically and verbally abusive behavior. Since then, Toohil said, Miccarelli has more recently behaved in intimidating behavior toward her at the state Capitol, where they both work.
The protection-from-abuse order against Miccarelli, a Delaware County Republican, states he shall be “evicted and excluded” from any location at which his accuser (Toohil) works or lives. Miccarelli is also prohibited from having any contact with Toohil. A hearing in the case is set for Thursday,
Miccarelli has denied any wrongdoing, and has not been charged with any crime.
A spokesman for Miccarelli did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday afternoon, but told PennLive on Sunday that the representative would not be in Harrisburg for the opening of the spring legislative session.
“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 spokesman Frank 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.”
Toohil has not responded to requests for comment from the Times Leader since Friday, when the PFA request was filed, including a new request on Monday.
Toohil did appear briefly on camera Monday with an area TV station, however, saying she came forward about the allegations now after hearing about allegations against Miccarelli from other women.
Those brief remarks echoed a statement Toohil released Saturday through her attorneys, according to the Associated Press.
“As a public official, I believe that I have a duty to step forward to protect other women,” Toohil’s statement said, adding that it had taken her years to identify that she was a victim of violence.
Toohil’s weekend statement went farther, saying that she was in a consensual relationship with Miccarelli six years ago “but there were terrible moments that were non-consensual,” the AP reported.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.