School Closings And Delays

Newswatch 16 Investigates: Looking for a State Representative

DUNMORE -- How often does your state lawmaker fail to show up when the legislature is in session at the State Capitol?

If you live in the 112th Pennsylvania House District in Lackawanna County, your representative has missed every vote and every committee meeting in Harrisburg since late July.

Democratic State Representative Kevin Haggerty missed just one day of votes in Harrisburg for the first seven months of this year. Since then, he's been a no-show at the State Capitol for his $82,000 a year job.

On Tuesday, October 17, at the Capitol in Harrisburg, 188 state representatives entered the House chamber for the daily roll call and 14 did not, including State Representative Kevin Haggerty of Dunmore.

"He has routinely requested leave, and he has been on leave I believe since July," said State Representative Mike Hanna of Centre County, the Democratic Party Minority Whip. "My job is to get members here and make sure we have them for votes."

Following the August recess, Newswatch 16 tracked the attendance of all 202 state representatives.

  • 122, including most lawmakers from our area, have not missed a single vote,
  • 49 have an attendance record of at least 90 percent,
  • 28 made it to at least half the votes,
  • 2 others have an attendance rate of between 40 and 50 percent.

But Representative Kevin Haggerty has not been present for a single vote in the last two months.

"We can ask them why they're not here, but ultimately, I'm not their boss. The folks back home are their bosses. But he has not given me a reason why he has not been here," said Rep. Hanna.

During the last two months, Rep. Haggerty missed two major votes on the proposed state budget, a bill to raise the hotel tax, and a plan to toughen fines for careless drivers. He was absent for a total of 123 votes.

"Come on Kevin, you have to do what's right, and that's not right," said Sylvia Passeri of Peckville.

Passeri credits Rep. Haggerty with getting a $35,000 state grant to build a monument to coal miners in Blakely, but she can't believe he's not showing up to vote in Harrisburg, a part of his job that pays $82,000 per year.

"I would show up for the vote, making that much money," Passeri said.

"I think it's a joke," said Christian Duffy of Jessup. "If I tried to do the same, I'd be out of a job and out of a home."

We tried to get a comment from Rep. Haggerty, starting at his office in Eynon, and then his office in Dunmore a few minutes later. It was locked up at 11:45 a.m.

When we visited his office in Harrisburg, no one was in.

We ran into a couple of his fellow lawmakers who were.

"He hasn't shown up to vote since July?"

"I don't know anything," said Rep. Emilio Vazquez, (D) Philadelphia. "I haven't seen him, actually."

"I can't speculate," said Rep. Christopher Rabb, (D) Philadelphia. "I'm assuming he's not available for comment."

Rep. Haggerty has a history of missed votes as he was absent for 181 during his first term as a state representative in 2013-2014.

And this fall as he was missing 123 votes in Harrisburg, Haggerty hosted an opioid symposium in Olyphant.

He also spoke in his district at a remembrance for those who died in the September 11 terror attacks.

And he posed for pictures with a former boxing champion in Jessup.

But he did not go to Harrisburg to vote.

"We encourage people to be here, and we see this as the most important part of their job," Rep. Hanna said.

After our repeated attempts to get a response from Rep. Haggerty, his office emailed us a statement, but it did not address his missed votes in Harrisburg.

"Over the last eight years, there has been a new state representative or a member-versus-member race in every single election due to redistricting. Our district has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because of gerrymandering and it is my job to end this destructive pattern which is hurting the citizens of the 112th district. There is no other district in Pennsylvania that has gone through this, and I will perform my duties to those that elected me as I see fit. We all work very hard and the only thing that should be singled out regarding our district is how it has been designed and designated to fail. Our job is to bring stability to an area and district that has been targeted through the unfair practice of redistricting." - Kevin Haggerty, (D)112 Pennsylvania House District

14 comments

  • NoExcuses

    Funny how friends of the family are sticking up for him… He has had a rough year they say…… Everyone goes through things but what I know for sure is I have to go to work……Oh and not everything is true in the news…. I get that too but roll call in Harrisburg doesn’t lie…… NO Excuses!!!! Get it together.. Better yet get out!

  • 112%

    Oh, he addressed the missed votes, you just missed it. “I will perform my duties to those that elected me as I see fit. ” – shows you what he thinks of actually representing those that elected him.. they aren’t even fit for him to vote for.

  • warningfakenews

    Maybe now NW16 might air a story on the Uranium One bribery scandal which is enveloping Clinton AND Obama…

    Nah, not likely…

  • 🤔

    If I were the people in that district, I sure wouldn’t vote for him again. He’s being paid $82,000 to do nothing while everyone else is busting their humps to work so they have a place to live and a means to feed their families. He needs to go!!!

    • Latest Flash

      Unfortunately ,!, the same idiots will vote him in again! I’m surprised they haven’t (democrats) been counting his vote without him!

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