(UPDATE 2 p.m.) Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives Republican leaders have released a statement recommending that Brian Ellis resign from office.
According to the statement, resigning from office would allow Ellis “to take care of his family and address the allegations raised against him that are currently the subject of a criminal investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney”.
The Speaker of the House has also suspended Ellis’ chairmanship of the Consumer Affairs Committee pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. Ellis will not be assigned to any other committees.
The statement also says that given the nature of the allegations, and in conjunction with Capitol Police and House Security, House leadership will institute “additional safety and security measures.”
A statement from a spokesman for Governor Tom Wolf called the allegations against Ellis “outrageous and unacceptable.” Wolf’s statement went on to say that he also “believes Rep. Ellis should resign.”
Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives have issued a statement condemning sexual violence or harassment, but did not reference State Rep. Brian Ellis directly, who stands accused for allegedly having sex with a woman while she was incapacitated and without her consent.
Republican caucus leaders say they have not been contacted by any law enforcement agencies regarding any new or ongoing investigations, but if criminal charges related to sexual violence or harassment are filed, they would expect an immediate resignation.
“The House Republican Caucus has zero tolerance for any instance of sexual violence or harassment,” according to the statement released Thursday from the House Republican Leaders via media contact Mike Straub. A copy was provided to the Butler Radio Network on Friday morning. “Our caucus will fully cooperate with any law enforcement instigation, or request, and would take any allegation against one of our members with the utmost seriousness.”
“Our rules,” the statement continues, “recently adopted by both House Republicans and Democrats, reflect the gravity of these case, and the rules, including expulsion proceedings, would apply to any complaints against current members, regardless of when the incident is alleged to have taken place.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story Thursday alleging State Rep. Brian Ellis, of Butler, is under investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office. The paper cites the alleged assault happened at Ellis’ Harrisburg residence in late 2015. The paper cites multiple unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Read more here.