R. Tracy Seyfert
|R. Tracy Seyfert|
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 5th district
January 7, 1997 – June 1, 2000
|Preceded by||James F. Merry|
|Succeeded by||John R. Evans|
|Constituency||Parts of Erie and Crawford Counties|
December 2, 1941 |
|Alma mater||Villa Maria College
University of Pittsburgh
Seyfert attended Mountain View Joint Schools. She earned her undergraduate degree from Villa Maria College (now part of Gannon University), her M.A. from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from University of Pittsburgh in 1988. She worked as a psychologist before joining the Erie County, Pennsylvania Council.
On September 9, 1999, federal and state investigators raided Seyfert's home, located in "Tracy's Ridge" in Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania, and seized a 10-ton (1,500 kilowatt) generating unit and 500-gallon oil tank. New units of that size cost $160,000 and require a crane and flatbed truck to move and are capable of supplying power to a coal mine, a lumber yard, or emergency power to the USX Tower. The total value of the units was less than $1,000.
Prosecutors alleged that in April 1999, Seyfert enlisted Elk Creek Township Supervisor Harold "Frosty" Crane to help her acquire the equipment, which was slated to be transferred to a volunteer fire department. Individuals are prohibited from acquiring such equipment through this program.
Seyfert pleaded guilty to theft of federal property and conspiring to influence a witness on May 12, 2000. In the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop more serious charges that she attempted to have a witness change his testimony. The judge sentenced her to five years in federal prison and assessed a $5,000 fine. Seyfert was released from federal prison on March 20, 2001.
Joseph Wenzel, a former legislative aide and close associate of Seyfert, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to tamper with a witness in Seyfert's trial. Wenzel admitted to working with Seyfert to get Harold "Frosty" Crane to lie to the FBI during its investigation. In exchange for his guilty plea, federal prosecutors "agreed not to pursue accusations that Wenzel asked his brother to kill the witness.
- "Session of 1997 - 181st of the General Assembly - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 1997-01-07.
- Cox, Harold (November 3, 2004). "Pennsylvania House of Representatives - 1999-2000" (PDF). Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- "Tracy Seyfert (Republican)". Official Pennsylvania House of Representatives Profile. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2000-03-03.
- Thompson, Jim (1996-10-08). "Tracy Seyfert Running on Experience, Qualifications". Erie Times-News.
- Heltzel, Bill (1999-09-11). "Agents seize generator, tank from property of lawmaker". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Mamula, Kris; Associated Press (2000-05-13). "Seyfert pleads guilty, resigns". Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
- Roddy, Dennis (2000-05-11). "State Rep. Seyfert to plead guilty tomorrow". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Hays, Kristen; Associated Press (2000-08-08). "Former state Rep. Seyfert sentenced to six months". Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
- Neri, Albert (2001-03-20). "Former lawmaker Tracy Seyfert Gets Out of Prison". Erie Times-News.
- Associated Press (2000-01-25). "Ex-aide Ties Seyfert to Witness Tampering". Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
- Pennsylvania House of Representatives - Tracy Seyfert (Republican) at the Wayback Machine (archived March 3, 2000) Archived official PA House website