Pa. lawmaker arrested after allegedly violating protection order filed by wife

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania state representative was arrested Friday and has been charged with harassment and violation of a protection from abuse order filed by his wife in what his attorney says was a "domestic issue," a newspaper reported.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the charges against Democratic state Rep. Kevin Boyle came after he was removed from his position as chairman of the state House Finance Committee and had his access to the Capitol limited earlier this month.

Boyle's lawyer, R. Emmett Madden, told the newspaper that his arrest Friday was a "domestic issue."

He acknowledged that any violation of a protection from abuse order is concerning, but added, "it is important to note the fact Kevin Boyle is not accused of any act of violence."

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State Rep. Kevin Boyle

Boyle is scheduled for a mental health evaluation as part of an agreement with the Philadelphia district attorney's office and "intends to follow through with all court, mental health and medical recommendations, including treatment," Madden said.

"We are optimistic that with treatment, Kevin can return to full health, resolve these charges and continue serving his constituents," he said.

In a statement Saturday, House Republican leaders called the arrest "more than troubling" and urged Boyle to resign "to focus on his personal health and the future well-being of those around him."

House Democratic leaders said they were "thankful" that Boyle had agreed to undergo evaluation and treatment for "ongoing mental health challenges." 

"Our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with Rep. Boyle's wife and two young children," the statement said.

Boyle said only that Democratic House leaders were given "incorrect information" about him over the summer. It is not clear why he was removed from his position on the House Finance Committee or why his access to the Capitol was limited. 

Boyle, 41, was released Saturday morning without bail with a court hearing slated Tuesday. He was elected in 2010 to represent parts of northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County. His brother, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, is in his fourth term representing Philadelphia in Congress.