2012-12-06 / Church News

Former Lawmakers Keep Benefits In New Jobs

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A state legislator charged with drunken-driving and assaulting his wife will stay on the House payroll and retain his state health and pension benefits.

The current Legislature goes out of business Friday. On Monday, Rep. Joe Brennan of Lehigh County, who abandoned a re-election bid in August after being charged, will be one of two departing lawmakers who'll start new jobs with the House Democratic caucus.

Brennan was charged in August, after police say he punched and choked his wife, then drove away intoxicated. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing in October.

Both he and Rep. Ken Smith of Lackawanna County will each take a $10,000 cut from their $82,000 legislative salary.

Caucus spokesman Bill Patton says they bring experience and expertise to their new jobs.

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