Committee investigating Larry Krasner releases interim report without recommendation to impeach
The Philly DA maintains that the panel’s efforts are politically motivated.
The Republican-led panel investigating crime in Philadelphia during District Attorney Larry Krasner’s tenure released an interim report blaming Krasner’s policies for the city’s rising crime rates. The topic of impeachment – an outcome even Krasner expected – was not mentioned.
Known as the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order, the House panel, which is chaired by state Rep. John Lawrence, released its second interim report Monday afternoon. Although the report’s conclusion falls short of recommending Krasner’s impeachment, it paints a dark picture of the City of Philadelphia and the city’s top prosecutor.
“The Select Committee has no reservations in emphatically stating, even at this interim stage, that addressing the increase in crime in Philadelphia requires the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders who share in the responsibility of addressing public safety, including, but not limited to, joint efforts to create policies and programs that harmonize protection of the public and the avoidance of unjust results,” the report concluded.
The committee – which includes state Reps. Amen Brown and Danilo Burgos, two Philadelphia Democrats – voted 5-0 to send the full report to the House chamber Monday.
Throughout the committee’s work, GOP lawmakers have bashed Krasner, who challenged the committee’s validity in Commonwealth Court, for failing to comply with subpoenas and requests for information. The back-and-forth between Krasner’s office and the committee over the legality of the process culminated in Krasner being held in contempt of the House, with votes on the resolution coming from both sides of the aisle.
The 63-page report outlined rising crime and victims’ testimony collected by the committee during interviews and public hearings over the past several weeks. It also mentions the increasing number of firearms cases being withdrawn or dismissed and high staff turnover in the District Attorney’s Office.
This report comes just days after Krasner journeyed to Harrisburg to criticize the committee’s actions.
Krasner, who said he had communicated with the committee about testifying during a private executive session on Friday, said those plans fell apart after he requested access to a full recording of the testimony that he could share with the public. He said the committee refused to grant that request.
“This is an effort to impeach someone for political purposes who has done nothing corrupt and nothing illegal because they want to erase Philadelphia’s votes,” Krasner said Friday. “They want to impeach our ideas. They want to erase Philadelphia’s votes.”
The future of the committee’s work is still up in the air. Lawrence said the committee will continue its investigation and prepare a final report in the coming weeks.
An impeachment recommendation – an expected outcome of the investigation – would come with the final report. The House could then begin proceedings soon after if lawmakers wish to get it done before the legislative session ends in November.