Josh Shapiro

Joshua David Shapiro (born June 20, 1973) is an American politician and lawyer currently serving as the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. He previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and as chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Josh Shapiro
PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro in 2021.jpg
50th Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 17, 2017
GovernorTom Wolf
Preceded byBruce Beemer
Member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
In office
January 3, 2012 – January 17, 2017
Preceded byJoe Hoeffel
Succeeded byKenneth E. Lawrence Jr.
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 153rd district
In office
January 4, 2005[1] – January 3, 2012
Preceded byEllen Bard
Succeeded byMadeleine Dean
Personal details
Born
Joshua David Shapiro

(1973-06-20) June 20, 1973 (age 47)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lori Shapiro
Children4
EducationUniversity of Rochester (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)
WebsiteGovernment website

Early life and educationEdit

Shapiro was born on June 20, 1973, in Kansas City, Missouri,[2] and was raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He attended high school at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.[3] He attended the University of Rochester where he majored in political science, and in 1992 he became the first freshman to win election as the student body president of the University of Rochester.[4] He graduated magna cum laude in 1995.[5] While working on Capitol Hill during the day, he also enrolled at the Georgetown University Law Center as an evening student and earned a J.D. degree in 2002.[6]

Shapiro lives with his wife Lori and their four children in Abington, Pennsylvania.[5] Shapiro is an observant Conservative Jew who keeps kosher.[7]

Early careerEdit

Capitol HillEdit

After graduating college, Shapiro moved to Washington D.C. He started as legislative assistant to Senator Carl Levin, then served as a senior adviser to Congressman Peter Deutsch and Senator Robert Torricelli.[8] From 1999 to 2003, he worked as Chief of Staff to Congressman Joe Hoeffel.[9]

Pennsylvania House of RepresentativesEdit

In 2004, Shapiro ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 153rd district.[8] He won election by a margin of nine points over the Republican nominee, former Congressman Jon D. Fox.[7] He won re-election in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Following the 2006 elections, Democrats controlled the Pennsylvania State House with a one-seat advantage over Republicans, but the party was unable to unite behind a candidate for Speaker of the House. Shapiro helped to broker a deal that resulted in the election of moderate Republican Dennis O’Brien as Speaker of the House. O'Brien subsequently named Shapiro as Deputy Speaker of the House.[10]

County commissionerEdit

Shapiro won election to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in 2011; the election marked the first time in history that the Republican Party lost control of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.[11] Shapiro became chairman of the board of commissioners, initially serving alongside Democrat Leslie Richards and Republican Bruce Castor.[4] During his tenure, the board of commissioners implemented zero-based budgeting and shifted county pension investments from hedge funds to index funds.[11] Democrats retained a majority on the board of commissioners in the 2015 election, as Shapiro and his running mate, Val Arkoosh, both won election.[12]

In April 2015, Governor Tom Wolf named Shapiro Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.[13]

Pennsylvania attorney generalEdit

Shapiro announced his intention to run for Pennnsylvania attorney general in January 2016.[14] While Shapiro had practiced with Philadelphia's Stradley Ronon firm, and had served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, he had never served as a prosecutor.[15] Shapiro campaigned on his promise to restore the office's integrity following the resignation of Kathleen Kane, and he also promised to work to combat the opioid epidemic[10] and gun violence. His campaign was supported by President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg was among the largest donors to Shapiro's campaign.[16] He won the Democratic primary for attorney general in April 2016, defeating Stephen Zappala and John Morganelli with 47% of the vote.[17] In November 2016, Shapiro won election as attorney general, defeating Republican nominee John Rafferty Jr. with 51.3% of the vote.[18]

He was reelected in 2020.[19]

TenureEdit

In 2017, Shapiro announced the roundup of a "Million Dollar Heroin Ring" under "Operation Outfoxed" in Luzerne County. [20] One of those arrested was Maura Kathio, [21] previously charged in a major Bath Salts case in 2016. [22] Kathio's Father, Inayat, is a Pakistani Diplomat and Democrat Donor who Co-Chaired then Presidential Candidate Joe Biden's Hometown Scranton Fundraiser. [23] All of the charges in Operation Outfoxed were dismissed after allegations that Shapiro had mishandled the sealing of wiretapped recordings. [24] Public Corruption and Bribery are well documented in Pennsylvania, [25][26] though Shapiro has not been formally accused of such misconduct as of yet..

Shapiro was one of 20 electors selected by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to vote in the Electoral College for Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris in 2020 United States presidential election.[27]

In May 2019 it was reported that Shapiro and State Senator Jay Costa had directed paid communications staffers to edit their Wikipedia pages with positive material.[28][29]

Shapiro joined with several other State Attorneys' General in opposing President Donald Trump's travel ban,[30] and he also filed a lawsuit to block the implementation of a rule that would have made it easier for employers to deny health insurance coverage of contraceptives.[31] He also joined a lawsuit against ITT Technical Institute, a for-profit educational institute, that resulted in a $168 million settlement (with about $5 million of that settlement going to Pennsylvania students).[32] In 2018, he reached an agreement with federal officials to prevent the distribution of blueprints for 3D printed firearms.[33] In 2019, he came out in support of the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults, joining Governor Tom Wolf and other leading Pennsylvania Democrats.[34]

Before Shapiro took office in 2016, the Pennsylvania Attorney's General office launched an investigation of allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church. Shapiro chose to move forward with the investigation, and, in August 2018, he released the results of an extensive grand jury report. The report alleged the sexual abuse of more than a thousand children at the hands of over 300 priests.[6] His report prompted similar investigations in other states into the Catholic Church, such as an inquiry launched by then-Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.[35]

In August 2018, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner referred the case of the fatal shooting of 36-year-old Jeffrey Dennis by a Philadelphia police officer to Shapiro, due to Krasner having served as Dennis's criminal defense attorney prior. Dennis was in his car when undercover officers in unmarked vehicles "box[ed] in" Dennis, three officers were injured after Dennis tried to evade them.[36][37] In December, Shapiro announced no charges would be filed against the officer involved, citing "[v]iolations of police procedure do not always rise to the level of criminal charges".[37][38] Dennis's family subsequently filed a lawsuit against the officer and city of Philadelphia for the incident.[39]

In December 2019, Shapiro charged State Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell with perjury and theft of funds from her supposedly nonprofit charity on such things as vacations and clothing.[40]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "SESSION OF 2005 - 189TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. January 4, 2005.
  2. ^ "Joshua D. Shapiro". Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
  3. ^ Cohen, Jason (February 17, 2016). "Josh Shapiro ready for next phase of career". Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.
  4. ^ a b Routh, Julian (February 25, 2019). "'He's got the courage of his convictions:' Attorney General Josh Shapiro embraces high-level battles". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  5. ^ a b "The Office". Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Dias, Elizabeth (August 27, 2018). "Meet Josh Shapiro, the Man Behind the Bombshell Investigation of Clergy Sexual Abuse". New York Times.
  7. ^ a b "Politics: Cleaning House". Philadelphia Magazine. November 20, 2007.
  8. ^ a b "Short Bios of New House & Senate Members" (PDF). Crisci Associates. January 7, 2005.
  9. ^ "About Josh Shapiro | Josh Shapiro, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Montgomery County, PA". July 22, 2012. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Hall, Peter. "Pennsylvania's new attorney general hopes to restore confidence in the office". themorningcall.com. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Blumgart, Jake (April 20, 2016). "Is Josh Shapiro the Guy to Clean Up Kathleen Kane's Scandal-Ravaged Office?". Philadelphia Magazine.
  12. ^ Foti, Kaitlyn (November 4, 2015). "Soul searching for Republicans after Democrat sweep in Montgomery County". Times Herald.
  13. ^ "Josh Shapiro Named Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency". Governor's Office – A Pennsylvania Government Website. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Field, Nick (January 12, 2016). "Shapiro Officially Announces AG Campaign". PoliticsPA. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  15. ^ Orso, Anna (October 25, 2016). "Josh Shapiro vs. John Rafferty: What to know about the PA Attorney General race". BillyPenn.
  16. ^ Orso, Anna. "Josh Shapiro wins PA Attorney General race". Billy Penn. Spirited Media. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  17. ^ Addy, Jason (April 26, 2016). "Shapiro Wins Dem AG Nomination". PoliticsPA. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  18. ^ Times, New York (November 21, 2016). "Pennsylvania Attorney General Results: Josh Shapiro Wins". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  19. ^ Sweigart, Kate (November 6, 2020). "Josh Shapiro wins Pa. Attorney General Race". WHTM-TV.
  20. ^ "Attorney General Shapiro Announces Breakup of $1 Million Fox Drug Ring in Luzerne County". Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  21. ^ Belser, Alex (November 9, 2017). "DRUG CRISIS: "Operation Outfoxed" suspects in court". WOLF. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  22. ^ "Two Women Sentenced For Role In Bath Salts Conspiracy". www.justice.gov. February 19, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  23. ^ Kalinowski, Bob. "Biden reflects on roots, slams Trump during private fundraiser". Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  24. ^ Leader, Times (May 29, 2019). "Flaw in wiretap jeopardizes drug case". Times Leader. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  25. ^ Couloumbis, Angela. "Onetime top Pa. prosecutor pleads guilty to corruption". https://www.inquirer.com. Retrieved June 14, 2021. External link in |website= (help)
  26. ^ DeKok, David (October 24, 2017). "Former Philadelphia D.A. sent to prison for five years for corruption". Reuters. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  27. ^ Routh, Julian (December 14, 2020). "Pennsylvania's presidential electors make it official, formally certify vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris".
  28. ^ BOARD, THE LNP EDITORIAL. "Public employees shouldn't be tasked with writing glowing entries for elected officials' Wikipedia pages [opinion]". LancasterOnline. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  29. ^ Writers, CARTER WALKER and JUNIOR GONZALEZ | Staff. "Wikipedia flags Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro over glowing, staff-written bio". LancasterOnline. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  30. ^ Burns, Alexander (February 6, 2017). "How Attorneys General Became Democrats' Bulwark Against Trump". New York Times.
  31. ^ Pear, Robert (December 15, 2017). "Court Temporarily Blocks Trump Order Against Contraceptive Coverage". New York Times.
  32. ^ Murrell, David (October 1, 2019). "Attorney General Josh Shapiro Is Hosting a Philly Town Hall on Student Debt". Philly Mag.
  33. ^ Hsu, Tiffany; Feuer, Alan (July 30, 2018). "A Rush to Block Downloadable Plans for 3-D Printed Guns". New York Times.
  34. ^ "Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro Backs Legalizing Marijuana". CBS Philly. September 27, 2019.
  35. ^ Berman, Mark (August 25, 2018). "After Pennsylvania report on alleged church abuses, Missouri launches investigation. What will other states do?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  36. ^ Rolen, Emily (August 23, 2018). "Philly D.A. Krasner refers Jeffrey Dennis police shooting probe to Pa. attorney general". PhillyVoice. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  37. ^ a b Tomczuk, Jack (March 6, 2019). "Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Tacony police shooting". Northeast Times. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  38. ^ Chang, David; Chinn, Hannah (December 4, 2018). "No Charges for Philadelphia Officer Involved in Deadly Police Shooting in Tacony". WCAU. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  39. ^ Palmer, Chris (February 27, 2019). "Relatives of Philly man killed by police sue for wrongful death". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  40. ^ McDaniel, Justine; Couloumbis, Angela (December 4, 2019). "Pa. Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, charged with stealing more than $500,000 from her own charity, will resign". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 3, 2021.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Kathleen Kane
Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Pennsylvania
2016, 2020
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Bruce Beemer
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
2017–present
Incumbent