Philly DA Krasner withdraws arrest warrant for embattled state Rep. Kevin Boyle • Pennsylvania Capital-Star

An arrest warrant for Pennsylvania state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia) has been withdrawn after previously unavailable information was obtained by authorities, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said Monday.

Police said last week that Boyle faced arrest for a charge that he had violated a protection from abuse order obtained by his ex-wife.

The announcement late Monday afternoon came about 15 hours before polls open in the primary election where Boyle is on the ballot for the Democratic nomination to run for reelection in his northeast Philadelphia district.

It also follows a partisan dispute in the House last week in which Republican leaders objected to Boyle’s vote being cast in his absence by the Democratic whip while he faces arrest. 

Krasner said in a news conference Monday the arrest warrant was supported by information provided by a Philadelphia police detective in an affidavit of probable cause. 

“While that appears, by all indications to have been truthful, and in good faith, it was missing a key piece of information that our office was only able to confirm in a meaningful way today,” Krasner said. “The actual protection from abuse order was no longer in effect on the relevant dates when Mr. Boyle is alleged to have violated that order.”

Krasner added that the withdrawal of the warrant does not clear Boyle of wrongdoing and that a determination will be made later. Krasner declined to provide additional information about the allegation against Boyle.

“I see no bad faith on the part of the Philadelphia Police Department or on the part of our office,” Krasner said, adding that there may be lessons to be learned from the situation.

“Simply put, this is a situation where newly confirmed information has changed our analysis and at this point, we do not see probable cause and therefore must withdraw this warrant,” Krasner said.

Boyle, whose whereabouts have been unknown since police confirmed the warrant last Tuesday, is on the ballot for reelection to an eighth term, although his campaign has been inactive for much of the year.

Sean Dougherty, the nephew of former Philadelphia labor leader John Dougherty (who is currently on trial on conspiracy and extortion charges), was recruited to challenge Boyle when the incumbent’s problems became public in February.

A video circulated on social media showed Boyle, who appeared to be intoxicated, threatening to have a Montgomery County tavern shut down after he was asked to leave. Police were called to the Rockledge bar and an investigation was started but no charges have been filed in that incident.

In 2021, Boyle was arrested for violating a restraining order his then-wife had obtained against him.

After his earlier arrest, Boyle was open about his struggles with mental illness and his brother, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-2nd District), said last week the family is focused on helping him get well.

House Majority Leader Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery) said Democratic leaders remain deeply concerned about Boyle. 

“Kevin is our dear friend and his deteriorating mental health over the past few months has been heartbreaking to witness,” Bradford said in a statement Monday. “I continue to urge Kevin to get the help he clearly needs.

“Today’s developments and the spectacle of the past few months should not obscure what is at stake—a sick man’s life. This isn’t political theater,” Bradford added.

In the House chamber Wednesday afternoon, Minority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) moved, unsuccessfully, to challenge Speaker Joanna McClinton’s (D-Philadelphia) ruling that Boyle’s absentee vote would continue to be counted.

Under House rules, lawmakers who are not present in the chamber may designate their party’s whip to cast votes on their behalf. Cutler said McClinton’s ruling that the designation remains in effect when a lawmaker is not in touch with party leaders or “perhaps deceased” is “an absurd interpretation of the rules.”

House Democrats, who control the lower chamber with a one-vote majority, introduced a resolution on Friday to amend the rules to allow a lawmaker who is incapacitated to be suspended or expelled.

Originally published at,by Peter Hall

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