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December 02, 2021

Former Pa. state Rep. Margo Davidson pleads guilty in theft case

The Delaware County Democrat filed fraudulent requests for per diem expenses and committed election code violations

Courts Theft

Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Margo Davidson resigned in July amid charges that she stole money from the state and violated the election code by failing to report campaign finance information, among other offenses. Her seat in Delaware County will be taken over by Gina Curry, a Democrat who won a special election in November.

Former Pennsylvania state representative Margo Davidson, who resigned in July amid charges that she stole state funds, pleaded guilty on Thursday and will be permanently barred from holding public office in the commonwealth again, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced.

Davidson, a Democrat who represented the 164th district, covering parts of Delaware County, admitted to stealing funds by filing false per diem requests and obtaining other expenses from the State House Comptroller's Office. She had also faced charges for election code violations stemming from her failure to report campaign finance information and had solicited a witness to lie during the course of the state's investigation.

A grand jury found that Davidson requested overnight expenses for nights she didn't spend in Harrisburg. She also received personal reimbursements from the state for expenses that had been paid for by her campaign.

Representatives are entitled to payments for out-of-pocket expenses during official events and trips, but Davidson had already been reimbursed by her campaign for the engagements that were under investigation.

“With her actions, Davidson betrayed both her constituents and her oath of office,” Shapiro said. “Today is further proof that no one is above the law and that everyone who holds office in Pennsylvania is accountable to the law and the people.”

Shapiro said Davidson, 58, has paid the full restitution of $6,925 in stolen funds. Her guilty plea was entered Thursday before Judge Scott Arthur Evans at the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.

In 2018, Davidson faced charges for crashing state-leased vehicles and fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run in Lansdowne. She was found guilty of driving without a license and failing to notify police of the crash — both considered traffic violations.

In a special election in November, Davidson's former seat was won by Gina Curry, the former Vice President of the Upper Darby School Board who has a long record of youth advocacy and focuses on affordable housing and behavioral health. Curry defeated Republican Brian Sharif Taylor and Libertarian Aniket Josan, taking 84% of the vote.

Davidson will be sentenced on Feb. 14, 2022.