Gene McGill, representative for the 151st state house district, is in hot water, and that isn't a reference to the plumbing in the township-owned house he's been staying in for free.
In 2003 McGill wrote a letter asking for leniency for a constituent. Who was being sentenced for having a sexual relationship with girl, starting when she was 14. And whose father had contributed around $1,500 McGill's campaigns over a period of years. The man was declared a violent sexual predator. McGill's letter to the judge asked the court to take the man's community involvement into account when sentencing him. According to the Inky,
[He], then 35, began courting the girl when she was 13 through an Internet chat site, according to court records and testimony. For more than two years, starting when she was 14, [he] had sex with the girl in a park near her home, at his recording-studio business, and at his home when his wife and children weren't there. He also took sexually explicit photos of the girl, had her look at pictures of other children engaged in sex, and had her beat him and mock him for sexual pleasure.
While McGill says this is the only letter he wrote for someone charged with a sex crime, he does have this to say about the people of the 151st:
McGill said that he was very careful with such letters, and that he took great strides not to weigh in on the crime but to merely tell the court what he knew about the person.
"I take their personal situations and their tremendous problems sincerely," he said. "Sometimes you almost fall out of the chair when you hear them... . I'd like to tell you that all the people in the 151st District are saints, but the fact is that they are not."
I'm going to have to add "don't denigrate the voters in the media" to my personal list of no-nos for elected officials, right after "don't ask for leniency for sex offenders."
Read the entire article in today's Inquirer (Cattabiani, Mario, "Official vouched for sex offender -- State Rep. Eugene McGill defended his court letter," Oct 6, 2006)
Read an interview with McGill's Democratic opponent, Rick Taylor, here.