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
Governor Ed Rendell
Preceded by Thomas Wolf
Succeeded by Dan Meuser[a]
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 95th district
In office
January 1, 1991 – September 29, 2006[1]
Preceded by Michael Bortner
Succeeded by Eugene DePasquale
Personal details
Born Stephen Hays Stetler
(1949-07-05) July 5, 1949 (age 67)
York, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Polly Stetler[2]
Children 2 children[2]
Residence York, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Drew University,
Johns Hopkins University
Occupation politician
Religion Episcopalian[2]
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 on 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]

June 27, 2012, former state representative and onetime Pennsylvania revenue secretary Stephen Stetler was convicted of six felony counts in his political corruption trial stemming from his alleged participation in a scheme to use public employees to do illegal campaign work. His case was the last of 25 defendants in the state attorney general's legislative corruption probe to be resolved. The jurors convicted him on all the charges he faced: four counts of theft and one each of conspiracy and conflict of interest.

On September 25, 2012 Stetler, was sentenced to 1-1/2 to 5 years in prison on multiple corruption convictions. Dauphin County President Judge Todd A. Hoover imposed the penalty three months after a county jury convicted him of using state resources and employees to conduct political campaigns. Hoover also fined Stetler $35,000 and ordered him to pay $466,621 in restitution. error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). </ref></ref>

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, 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] If convicted, Stetler could face up to 40 years in prison and $85,000 in fines.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Stetler officially resigns as state representative" (Press release). House Democratic Policy Committee. September 29, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Stephen H. Stetler (PA)". Project Vote Smart. Archived from the original on 2009-12-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d 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 2006-06-19.  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 (Mar 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. 11/12/2008. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "About Us: Stephen H. Stetler, Secretary". Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Archived from the original on 2009-12-15. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Stephen Stetler at Wikimedia Commons