State Rep. Aaron Bernstine is looking to have plaques detailing the criminal convictions of three former House speakers rehung.
The plaques were placed under the Capitol portraits of John Perzel, Herbert Fineman, and Bill DeWeese in 2014, but were removed in 2020. Bernstine on Tuesday sent a letter to current House Speaker Bryan Cutler requesting they be rehung.
“Criminal convictions that occurred while these politicians served the taxpayers should not be hidden from the public,” Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) said. “Good or bad, visitors to the Capitol should have the opportunity to be educated on the full history of their government.”
In his letter to Cutler, Bernstine called the convictions of the three former speakers "crimes related to abuses of public office" and said the plaques are an appropriate way to inform visitors of Pennsylvania's "deep history of bipartisan corruption."
Bernstine wrote that it is his understanding that the plaques are in storage at the Capitol. He requests that Cutler put them back and look into what steps can be taken to prevent any future attempts to remove them.
"It is inappropriate," Bernstine wrote, "to try to erase history."