Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, who was accused by two women of physical and sexual abuse last year, has landed a job running a Delaware County-funded agency that provides rides to the elderly and those in medical need.
Miccarelli was accused by a political consultant and fellow Republican state Rep. Tara Toohill of sexual and physical assaults in incidents over six years.
House Republican leaders investigated the allegations and found them credible. They stripped Miccarelli of his committee posts and referred the case to the Dauphin County district attorney’s office, which ultimately declined to prosecute after the consultant decided not to pursue the matter.
Miccarelli always denied the allegations, but decided against seeking re-election last year.
Now he’s been named the executive director of Community Transit, a nonprofit funded by the Republican-controlled County Council.
Rachel Pastan of the activist group Indivisible Swarthmore Moving the Needle was one of several people who raised questions about the hiring at a meeting of the County Council this week.
“He’s not someone who’s had any experience with this agency,” Pastan said in a telephone interview. “His main qualification for the job seemed to be being a well-connected Republican, selected by a board made up of well-connected Republicans in Delaware County.”
Efforts to reach Community Transit board chair Nate Much, a former Republican commissioner of Nether Providence Township, were unsuccessful.
Much told the Delaware County Daily Times that Miccarelli was chosen after interviews with six or seven candidates. Miccarelli “had the best resume, he was the best in interviews, and brought a different perspective of how he thought Community Transit should be run,” Much said.
Miccarelli will be supervising a workforce of more than 100 full- and part-time employees, many of them women.
Terry Mutchler, an attorney who represented Miccarelli’s accusers, noted that a protection-from-abuse order Toohil obtained against Miccarelli remains in place.
“I think we can agree that working is a good thing,” Mutchler said in an interview. “I would think the only concern is that you have someone with an active protection-from-abuse order against him in a position like that.”
Kevin Madden, one of two Democrats on the five-member Delaware County Council, said in an interview Miccarelli’s hiring raises questions about the judgment of the Community Transit board.
“I would want to get comfort as to how this board of directors felt comfortable hiring someone who was the subject of multiple sexual harassment allegations,” he said.
Miccarelli responded to requests for comment with a written statement.
“I have every right to pursue a new career,” it said. “I took part in a rigorous interview process for this position and was determined to be the best-qualified candidate for the job. I have no need to apologize to anyone for pursuing this position. I’d appreciate if people would just let me go on with my life and respect my privacy.”
Madden said he hopes the County Council will take a close look at Community Transit’s contract when it is up for renewal at the end of June.