|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 33rd district
January 1, 1991
|Preceded by||Ted Kondrich|
|Democratic Leader of the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
January 4, 2011
|Preceded by||Todd Eachus|
|Democratic Whip of the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
December 19, 2009 – November 30, 2010
|Preceded by||Bill DeWeese|
|Succeeded by||Mike Hanna|
May 29, 1951 |
|Alma mater||Columbia University
Indiana University School of Law
Frank Dermody (born May 29, 1951) is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 33rd Legislative District since 1991. His district is located in northeastern Allegheny County, including Brackenridge, Cheswick, East Deer, Fawn, Frazer, Harmar, Harrison, Indiana, Oakmont, part of Plum, Springdale, Tarentum, and West Deer.
One of five children, Dermody was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and raised in nearby Clarks Summit. His father, a demolition expert who worked in the coal mines, died when Frank was 7. To support the family, his mother worked various jobs, including with Capitol Records, the Social Security Administration, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
After graduating from Abington Heights High School, he received a scholarship to play football at Columbia University in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Columbia in 1973. For the next five years, he worked in sales for two different companies in New York while saving money for law school. He received his Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington in 1982.
Dermody then returned to Pennsylvania, working as an assistant public defender in Harrisburg. He served as assistant district attorney in Allegheny County for five years, prosecuting rape, murder, and child abuse cases. During his tenure in the district attorney's office, he was appointed by Governor Bob Casey in 1989 to fill an unexpired term as district justice for Oakmont and Verona, which he did for seven months.
Dermody also worked as a legal advisor to Allegheny County's district justices, an instructor at the Community College of Allegheny County, and a faculty member of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
In 1990, Dermody ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 33rd Legislative District. In the Democratic primary, he faced Arlene S. Loeffler, the president of the Riverview School Board. He won with 2,870 votes, or 53%, against Loeffler's 2,524 votes, or 47%.
In the general election, Dermody faced one-term Republican incumbent Ted V. Kondrich. The criminal justice system, education, and the environment were regarded as the top issues of the campaign. Dermody ultimately defeated Kondrich, receiving 9,082 votes to Kondrich's 8,430. He has been re-elected every two years since.
Dermody was chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts in the Judiciary Committee from 1991 to 2006, and served on the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing from 1991 to 2010, including 14 years as commission chairman. In 1994, he was selected by House leaders to lead the investigation into charges against Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen, serving as a key prosecutor in the impeachment trial that led to Larsen's eventual removal.
He served as chairman of the Allegheny County's House Democratic delegation (1994–2006) and as caucus secretary (2006–2008). In 2009, he was elected Majority Whip, the second-highest position for his party in the House. In late 2010, he was chosen to be Democratic Leader for the 2011-12 session.
Dermody resides in Oakmont with his wife, Debra (née Hewetson) Dermody, who was his classmate in law school. They have two children, Frank and Cara.
- "SESSION OF 1991 - 175TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 1991-01-01.
- "District Information". Rep. Frank Dermody, 33rd Legislative District.
- Bumsted, Brad (2010-11-18). "Pennsylvania political power shifts west". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Swift, Robert (2010-11-27). "Scranton native leads house caucus". The Times-Tribune.
- Fuoco, Michael A. (2009-12-21). "Top House post a challenge for Dermody's work ethic". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- "Biography". Rep. Frank Dermody, 33rd Legislative District.
- "Representative Frank Dermody (PA)". Project Vote Smart.
- "Two incumbents face primary challenges". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1990-03-08.
- Hammonds, Donald (1990-05-17). "Mrkonic gets past 2 challengers". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Solow, Barbara (1990-10-24). "Education, drug crimes top issues in 33rd race". The Pittsburgh Press.
- Wilhelm, Jim (1990-11-07). "Clark, Kondrich upset in state House races". The Pittsburgh Press.
- Pennsylvania House of Representatives - Frank Dermody official PA House website
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus - Rep. Frank Dermody official Party website