Outgoing state Reps. Joe Brennan (D-Lehigh) and Ken Smith (D-Lackawanna) didn’t win new terms on election day but they’ll be coming back to Harrisburg for work anyway.
That’s because the House Democrats have hired each as caucus employees.
Brennan is presently facing charges of assaulting his wife and driving drunk; Smith is embroiled in a bankruptcy case.
Brennan, who worked as a House researcher for over a decade, will be research analyst in the Legislative Policy and Research Office.
Smith will join the Office of Member Services and help newly elected lawmakers adjust. That group presumably will include Kevin Haggerty, the man who beat Smith in the April Democratic primary.
Both men will draw a slightly lower salary than they did as lawmakers, but will continue to build their pensions.
Brennan withdrew from his race in August after the charges had been announced. His Allentown district is safe for Democrats in most cases, but the party pressured him to pull out to avoid any chance of losing the seat. Dan McNeill, a former union leader and Whitehall Township commissioner, took his place on the ballot and won easily.
As Capitolwire notes both parties have hired outgoing and potentially disgraced former legislators to do caucus work.