House Republicans are demanding Philadelphia Democratic state Rep. Kevin Boyle resign in the wake of his arrest for violating a protection from abuse order and for harassment. And they have support from an unusual source: Gov. Tom Wolf.
Boyle, who represents Philadelphia and parts of Montgomery County, was arrested Friday and released pending his arraignment. He’s expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
The leadership of the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus issued a statement demanding that Boyle, 41, resign: “The news of Rep. Boyle’s arrest is more than troubling. The allegations against him, if true, mean he should no longer hold public office. It is clear Rep. Boyle should resign from office now to focus on his personal health and the future well-being of those around him.”
House Democratic leadership, which recently removed Boyle from his spot on the Finance Committee, has limited his access to the capitol. They issued this statement: “We are saddened to learn of Rep. Kevin Boyle’s arrest and concerned for everyone involved in this situation. We understand that Rep. Boyle has been dealing with ongoing mental health challenges and we’re thankful to learn that he’s agreed to undergo evaluation and treatment. Sadly, too many families deal with these challenges shrouded by stigma or shame. Our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with Rep. Boyle’s wife and two young children.”
Wolf was sympathetic but said Monday he agrees with the Republicans.
“I think he ought to resign. I think everybody deserves to [have] treatment for mental illness and he deserves to go through that treatment. I think while he goes through that treatment, he should not serve in the legislature.”
Boyle’s defense lawyer, R. Emmett Madden, said, “It is important to note that no one is accusing Kevin Boyle of any act of violence. We are confident that this single misdemeanor charge, and one summary citation, will be resolved without a conviction once Kevin completes all medical recommendations, including treatment. We are confident that with treatment, Kevin will return to full health and continue serving his constituents, who he has worked hard to ably represent for the last 11 years, and who have overwhelmingly re-elected him numerous times.”
Boyle was first elected in 2010. Boyle’s brother, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), did not respond to a request for comment.