State Representative Frank Farry has been named chairman of the House Ethics Committee for the 2019-2020 legislative session.

In his 11th year serving the 142nd district, Farry must now lead the only committee not responsible for considering legislation. Instead, the House Ethics Committee looks into complaints against House members, employees, officers, and lobbyists.

State Rep. Frank Farry with his wife and newborn child in Harrisburg on Swearing In Day. Image via Office of Frank Farry.

“Although we aren’t vetting legislation, this committee is a very important one, and I take this appointment very seriously,” said Farry. “In light of the gravity of the subject matter it considers, and the multitude of negative allegations facing government these days, I remain committed to restoring trust in government and upholding the highest standards of ethics, which this institution and the people of Pennsylvania deserve.”

Farry has practiced law in Bucks County since 2002, and is now tasked with a new responsibility for the Committee. The House voted on Tuesday to add investigating sexual harassment allegations against a member or officer of the House to the list.

In the “Me Too” era in which several allegations have been made against people in positions of power throughout the nation, the PA House is no exception. Among others, most notably in 2018 were the accusations of stalking and abuse Rep. Tarah Toohil made against her peer and ex-boyfriend Rep. Nick Miccarelli.

House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) appointed Farry and complimented his work and demeanor.

“Rep. Farry is a thoughtful and diligent lawmaker,” said Turzai. “We are confident that he will approach the important work of the House Ethics Committee with fairness and integrity.”

The Committee is composed of eight House members, four Republicans and four Democrats.