State Rep. Leslie Acosta – who remained in office and won reelection this fall after secretly pleading guilty to a federal felony charge in March – will finally resign next month.
Acosta, a Democrat who represents the 197th District in Philadelphia, reportedly plans to resign on January 3rd, the same day lawmakers are sworn in for the next two-year session. Top lawmakers, like Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, had asked for Acosta to step down after an Inquirer report revealed that she’d pleaded guilty in a sealed proceeding in March to one felony count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
That report came in September – when Acosta was running unopposed for reelection – long after the filing deadline for potential challengers. In March, Acosta reportedly admitted to helping Renee Tartaglione, her former boss at the Juniata Mental Health Clinic, embezzle thousands of dollars from the publicly funded Fairhill clinic between 2008 and 2012, before she took public office.
According to the Inquirer, Acosta submitted her letter of resignation to House Speaker Mike Turzai, who can call for a special election within 10 days of her resignation. From there, lawmakers must wait at least 60 days to choose a potential candidate. Brady told the Inquirer that lawmakers are looking at Noelia Diaz and Freddie Ramirez.
Acosta, who awaits a January sentencing, was first elected to office in 2014, when she defeated incumbent J.P. Miranda, who pleaded guilty to a corruption charge last year.
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