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Days After Election, Bucks GOPers Plead Guilty

By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer

They say timing is everything. Just days after this year’s county elections, several high-profile Republican officials in Bucks County plead guilty to charges of corruption.

On Friday, Register of Wills Barbara Reilly, who ran the office for more than three decades, and her second deputy Rebecca Kiefer pleaded guilty to forcing employees to do political work while having tax payers foot the bill.

The so-called atmosphere of corruption was one of the Democratic slate’s major campaign issues in the fall. Nevertheless, incumbent Commissioners Charley Martin and Rob Loughery, both Republicans, were re-elected by a wide margin earlier this month. Incumbent Democrat Diane Marseglia kept her seat as well, leaving Doylestown Borough President Det Ansinn on the outside looking in.

The pleas by Reily and Kiefer came two months after Candace Quinn, a former top administrator in the office, offered her own guilty plea to a range of charges that included felony theft and conspiracy, official oppression and obstructing law enforcement.

After an eight-month investigation, a Grand Jury alleged that Reilly forced county employees to do Election Day work on behalf of Republican candidates  in exchange for under-the-table compensatory time.  Upon learning of the investigation, prosecutors say, Reilly and her team actively attempted to destroy pertinent evidence, including the “pink book” used to record the Election Day hours.

Keifer did not contest the charges that she and Quinn used money that residents paid for copies of records to pay for lunches and sodas.

After working in the Register’s office since 1985, Keifer retired in August.  

Quinn also retired but was able to negotiate a separate agreement shortly before the charges were filed in March.  

For more details on the allegations check out Matt Coughlin’s article in the Intelligencer.

One Response

  1. What is lacking in this case is political consequences. The Bucks GOP machine and its chairman Harry Fawkes emerged unscathed. County elected government will continue to have a minority commissioner as the sole Democrat.

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