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Rep. Frank Farina: ‘Error in Judgment’

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SCRANTON -- A state representative from Lackawanna County regrets being reimbursed taxpayer money to pay for gasoline he used to get to and from a Penn State football game last fall.

His acknowledgment came Friday after a Newswatch 16 investigation.

Our investigation found that roughly 40 percent of area lawmakers take advantage of free Penn State football tickets offered by the university.

But Rep. Frank Farina is the only lawmaker we know of who took the free tickets, and was reimbursed for mileage. He now says he's paying the money back.

State Representative Frank Farina made his apology in front of the Lackawanna County Courthouse in downtown Scranton.

Farina now admits he never should have asked taxpayers to foot the bill for family trip expenses to and from Beaver Stadium from Jessup to watch a Penn State football game last fall in a luxury box.

"I am here today to acknowledge an error in judgment that I made, for which I accept full responsibility," said State Rep. Frank Farina, (D) 112th District.

Farina explained he thought he could expense the trip to happy valley, because at the game he met with Penn State President Eric Barron and talked about higher education. The game tickets were free, courtesy of Penn state.

After submitting his expense report, Farina received $197 for mileage to and from the game, a decision he now admits was insensitive.

"We live in difficult times, and many of my constituents face economic hardships, and had I looked at the situation from their point of view, I would have seen that it was against better judgment," Farina said.

Representative Farina's statement comes less than two weeks before his primary election.  What do voters think of his statement?

"We all make mistakes.  I've made quite a few in my life.  I think he's a good man," said Alice Walter of Jermyn.

"Frank Farina is going to lose this election," said Tony Wrightson of Jessup. "And it's the people who are going to step up to the plate and say, 'you did something wrong Mr. Farina.'"

At the news conference, Rep. Farina promised to take a closer look at his business expenses, and said he's accomplished a lot in Harrisburg.

"I hope you will judge me in light of my entire body of work," he said.

Rep. Farina announced he is now going to join other representatives and become a co-sponsor of a bill that limits the value of gifts lawmakers can accept.

If it is passed, lawmakers could no longer accept free tickets for Penn State football games.

29 comments

  • The Gambler

    I bet 7 to 1 odds that Farina gets thrown out of office. I wonder if any ex-Penn State college student and former bookie turned slick local politician cares to take my bet now.

  • George A Stephens Jr

    just another Democrat who thinks he can spend YOUR money and get away with it, then when he’s caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he cries, sorry, what a bullshit artist, no wonder this part of the state never gets anywhere

  • Matthew

    Farina looked like he was gonna cry when coming out of the courthouse to give his prepared excuse, most differently written by someone else. I am convinced up until this point even he was surprised at how gullible and dumb his voters are.

  • Jim Rogers

    Error in judgement? His error is thinking voters will accept it! He’s a common thief and should be replaced in state government this upcoming election!!!

  • Disgusted

    No one should accept this pathetic apology and no one should re-elect a person who will repeatedly steal from the taxpayers. An audit should take a close look at Farina’s expense vouchers since he took office. He has proven that he does not know right from wrong and has no principles or ethics.

  • Tom haze

    Hes a thief hes only sorry he got caught ..real question is what would happen of a citizen doesent pay a 200 fine go to jail.. You know the old saying about the gpose and gander lol

  • Scott Cannon

    Why not stop at limiting the amount? Let’s make it NO gifts and no lobbying, and no campaign contributions higher than $200. The system is broke and the only way to fix it is to take the legal bribes out.

  • Patrick Joyce

    So, is he sorry for,what he did or that he was caught. You decide. I know what I bellieve.

  • Typical Democrats

    This guy is making almost 90k a year and decided to bill the taxpayers $197 for his family trip to penn state!! I wish I could afford to take my family out of Jessup!! Hope you enjoyed the game. Your welcome….thief!!

  • Typical Democrats

    This guy is making almost 90k a year and decided to bill the taxpayers $197 for his family trip to penn state!! I wish I could afford to take my family out of Jessip!! Hope you enjoyed the game. Your welcome….thief!!

  • tom

    Let us all be honest about this. He is not sorry, he is only sorry because he got caught, if this incident didn’t come to light he would have taken four more tickets this season and once again billed the taxpayers for his mileage But I am sure all of the people in Lackawanna county will once again vote to keep him in office just because he has a (D) by his name..

  • Leonard j Pietrolaj jr

    Very nice to see a Honorable Man make a Honorable Decision to step up and admit an error, I wish their were more people like this in Harrisburg. An oversight this small in a Early Career of a State Representative is a good learning experience, Mr. Farina thanks for your Honesty Sir, I hope I can meet you some day, Keep up the Good Work that you are doing for all the people of the 112th District. Sir keep your head high, You Have my Vote US Army Veteran Thanks.

    • BAD BOY

      You are obviously either
      A. a family member of Frank
      B. one of the other dishonest people who work in his Eynon office
      C. in some way reaping the benefits of his dirty bribery tactics
      D. Delirious

      Face It…he committed political suicide! BYE BYE Frank

  • Sarah J. Butler (@viannahlee)

    Frank Farina engages more with his constituents than any other in Harrisburg. Regular free shredding papers, stop up and say hello, invites and more. He represented me for a short time and I miss him. Few and far between are the public “servants” who apologize. I forgive you, Frank – not that you’re mine. Sadly, our Harrisburg and DC elected are whipped to get along with the party boys already there. Scruples and ethics are not PC in politics. The threat to comply with the cheating is easily spoken: “If you say something, you’ll spoil it for everyone.”

  • Voice of reason

    I may be misinformed, but didn’t he bankrupt a landscaping business? Isn’t that one step above a paper route, or lemonade stand? He has the nerve to say people have “Coal Cracker” mentalities, but doesn’t have enough common sense to know that it is morally and ethically wrong to accept a bribe, and then charge the tax payers on top if it? Take a trip down the rabbit hole, it would be pretty enlightening to see how deep it actually goes

  • Dylan

    Why do WE Put up with this crap?? WHY are WE (me included) simply sitting here bitching about this on keyboards and WHY are WE NOT demanding that ALL gifts (BRIBES) to Lawmakers be made a Felony crime- Both for those who give AND accept these BRIBES. You are all correct- He IS only sorry because he got caught and the fact that this got out would cost him votes!!!!!

  • Mr. Truth

    The look on Finkrina’s face say’s it all. I got caught on this one and now how do I fix it! This is worthy of at least an investigation by the PA State Auditor’s Office to check for anymore of his “WRONG BILLING TO COAL-CRACKING TAXPAYERS”.

  • Tom J.

    No doubt the “informed” voters from around here will re-elect this crook. He has a “D” after his name.

  • Patriotic Pig

    ONLY AFTER HE WAS CALLED OUT ON IT DOES HE ADMITT TO DOING WRONG. HE KNEW HE WAS WRONG THE WHOLE TIME. RESIGN NOW YOU THIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND DON’T FORGET TO PAY BACK THE “INTEREST” AND WE THE RESIDENTS ARE ALSO CHARGING YOU A “LATE FEE”

Comments are closed.