Wolf Goes to Battle With GOP

Voids last-minute appointments made at end of Tom Corbett's term.

Tom Wolf

That didn’t take long. On only his second day in office, Gov. Tom Wolf started throwing down with Republicans — voiding some last-second picks for appointed offices that his predecessor, Gov. Tom Corbett, made before leaving office this week.

“Included among the two dozen “pending executive nominations” that were recalled by Mr. Wolf on Thursday were judicial nominations, the nomination of former Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley to Temple University’s board of trustees and the appointment of William Lieberman to the state Turnpike Commission,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

But the most contentious withdrawn nomination was that of former Senate Republican aide Erik Arneson, who had been appointed by Corbett to head the state’s Office of Open Records. Wolf said the circumstances of the appointments  “were murky and the process was anything but open and transparent.”

But Arneson said he refuses to be fired.

“[Wolf] doesn’t have the authority to do it,” Arneson told PennLive. “It’s an unfortunate distraction. I’ll be back at 9 a.m. tomorrow to do my job to the best I can. I’ll just keep plugging away.”

Arneson has the backing of Senate Republicans, and will challenge the firing in court, “They say while the office’s executive director is a gubernatorially appointed position, the person appointed to it does not serve at the pleasure of the governor,” PennLive said in a separate story. “That’s why, they say, the law provides for it to be a six-year appointment so that it spans gubernatorial administrations that last four years.”