Beleaguered state Rep. Joe Brennan finishes up his tenure as a legislator today amid pending charges that he assaulted his wife and drove away drunk on an August afternoon.
But he’ll spend no time on the unemployment line. In fact, Capitolwire.com reported Thursday, Brennan will continue to collect a paycheck from the state of Pennsylvania as an employee of the House Democratic Caucus.
Brennan will start a new job as a research analyst in the caucus’ Legislative Policy and Research Office on Monday. The salary is $72,000 a year – about $10,000 less than what he makes as a legislator – and he will continue to receive the same health benefits for which members and staff are eligible, Capitolwire reported.
The job will be considered an extension of his time of service as a state employee and he will continue to pay into the State Employees Retirement System, the news service reported.
Prior to being elected to the state House, Brennan had been an aide and researcher for former state Rep. T.J. Rooney for 14 years.
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On Aug. 15, Brennan allegedly got into a heated argument with his wife, Norma Jane, wrapped his hands around her neck, slapped her, punched her and wrestled her to the floor on the front porch of their Fountain Hill home. He then, allegedly, drove away drunk.
A week later, Brennan announced that he would stay on as a legislator for the remainder of his current term, but withdraw from his re-election bid for a fourth term for the 133rd District seat.
Democratic Party leaders then picked former Whitehall Township Commissioner Dan McNeill as Brennan’s replacement on the general election ballot. McNeill went on to defeat Republican Dave Molony on Election Day.
Brennan, meanwhile, is waiting to face court action on charges of simple assault and drunk driving. In October 2011, Brennan was accepted into the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program for first time offenders to satisfy a drunk driving charge from June of that year.