Stephen Stetler

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Stephen Stetler
Stephen Stetler 2006.jpg
Stetler in 2006
Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania
In office
March 31, 2009 – December 15, 2009
GovernorEd Rendell
Preceded byTom Wolf
Succeeded byDan Meuser[a]
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 95th district
In office
January 1, 1991 – September 29, 2006[1]
Preceded byMichael Bortner
Succeeded byEugene DePasquale
Personal details
Stephen Hays Stetler

(1949-07-05) July 5, 1949 (age 70)
York, Pennsylvania
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Polly Stetler[2]
Children2 children[2]
ResidenceYork, Pennsylvania
Alma materDrew University,
Johns Hopkins University
a. ^ C. Daniel Hassell served as acting secretary from Stetler's resignation in 2009 until Meuser's nomination in 2011.

Stephen Hays Stetler (born July 5, 1949) is a Democratic politician from Pennsylvania who served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from March 2009 until his resignation in December of that year.

He stepped-down hours before he was indicted by a grand jury on various charges of theft and conflict of interest that were brought by the office of Attorney General Tom Corbett.[3]

Education and teaching career[edit]

A native of York, Pennsylvania, he attended St. James School, a private Episcopal boarding school in Maryland.[4] He earned an undergraduate degree from Drew University in 1971.[2] In 1974, he earned a Master of Divinity from Drew University.[2] In 1983, he earned a M.S. in Administrative Science from Johns Hopkins University.[2] He then studied canon law at Ripon Hall in Oxford, England and took a teaching position at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C..[4]

Business and legislative career[edit]

Stetler left teaching in 1977 and moved to Harrisburg to begin working for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.[4] He stayed at the Department for 12 years and was eventually promoted to Deputy Secretary of Taxation, a position giving him supervision of 1,800 employees.[4] It was during this time that Stetler attended Johns Hopkins University.[4] He then returned to York, Pennsylvania to become a partner in D.E. Stetler and Son, his family's Dodge auto dealership.[4]

During the 1990 election, Stetler successfully ran to represent the York-centric 95th legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which had been vacated by Michael E. Bortner, who was a candidate for the Pennsylvania State Senate.[4] In 2003, the political website PoliticsPA named him as a possible successor to House Minority Leader Bill DeWeese.[5] He was elected House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman in 2003, making him part of the caucus leadership.[4] During that time, he was also chairman of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, a political position within the caucus that placed him in charge of the election efforts for many House Democratic candidates.[6] As a member of the board of Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a governmental student financial aid organization, Stetler and his wife were criticized for "posh" accommodations and retreats that were paid for with PHEAA funds.[7]

Stetler did not run for re-election during the 2006 general election, at least partially because of voter backlash over his vote in favor of the 2005 General Assembly pay raise.[6][8][9] He resigned his seat in September in order to become executive director of the Pennsylvania Economy League.[1]

Tenure as Secretary of Revenue[edit]

In November 2008, he was named Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, succeeding Thomas W. Wolf.[10] He was unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate on March 31, 2009.[11] He resigned that position on December 15, 2009, hours before being charged with one count of conflict of interest, four counts of theft, and one count of criminal conspiracy by Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett (R), who has been investigating the practices of the House Democratic Caucus as a part of the "Bonusgate" investigations.[3][6] According to state prosecutors, Stetler had "required members of his staff to conduct campaign work on legislative time" while chair of the House Policy Committee.[3] Stetler was found guilty and sentenced to 1 1/2 years to 5 years in prison.

However, he has appealed his conviction and was granted a new trial in April, 2017.[12] An appeal by the PA Attorney General to dismiss the appeal was denied by the PA Supreme Court.[13]


  • Mauriello, Tracie (December 16, 2009). "Stetler joined Revenue after stint in House". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  1. ^ a b "Stetler officially resigns as state representative" (Press release). House Democratic Policy Committee. September 29, 2006. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Stephen H. Stetler (PA)". Project Vote Smart. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Victor, Daniel (December 15, 2009). "Former Pennsylvania House Speaker Bill DeWeese charged in Bonusgate scandal". Patriot-News. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Biorgraphy - Stephen Hays Stetler". Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus. Archived from the original on June 19, 2006. External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ "The Changing of the Guard". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on February 12, 2003.
  6. ^ a b c Roddy, Dennis B.; Tracie Mauriello (December 16, 2009). "DeWeese, Stetler charged in state corruption probe". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  7. ^ Joyce, Ton (March 18, 2007). "PHEAA LUXURY RETREATS Stetler and wife got posh perks; Agency footed the bill for spa, gourmet cooking class, mini bar". York Daily Record.
  8. ^ "Under fire on two fronts, Stetler insists he did What he thought was right". York Daily Record. August 20, 2005.
  9. ^ "YORK'S MAN IN HARRISBURG Under fire on two fronts, Stetler insists he did What he thought was right". York Daily Record. August 20, 2005.
  10. ^ "GOVERNOR RENDELL ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION OF TOM WOLF, APPOINTMENT OF STEPHEN STETLER AS REVENUE SECRETARY (11/12/2008)" (Press release). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. December 11, 2008. Archived from the original on November 2, 2009.
  11. ^ "About Us: Stephen H. Stetler, Secretary". Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009.
  12. ^ [1] | Former state Rep. Steve Stetler wins new trial | Rick Lee | April 26, 2017 | [2]
  13. ^ [3] | October 14, 2018 | Pa. Supreme Court will not hear appeal in Stephen H. Stetler case | Teresa Boeckel, York Daily Record | [4]

External links[edit]

Media related to Stephen Stetler at Wikimedia Commons