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DA withdraws Boyle arrest warrant

TIMES FILE PHOTO

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office on Monday withdrew the arrest warrant for state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.) because a protection from abuse order he supposedly violated is no longer active.

A DA spokesperson said, “Previously unavailable information came to light this morning regarding the Protection from Abuse order that in-part formed the basis for the warrant for Rep. Kevin Boyle’s arrest. In keeping with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s commitment to fair and equal justice, the DAO is withdrawing the arrest warrant for Rep. Boyle. While there may or may not be a basis for other charges, there is no longer probable cause for violation of a protective order. This remains an ongoing investigation and we have no further comment at this time.”

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Boyle voted 18 times “by designation” last Wednesday while police were seeking to arrest him for allegedly violating a protection from abuse order involving his ex-wife.

Republicans objected that Boyle should not have been allowed to vote because nobody knows where he is. Every House Democrat voted to allow Boyle to keep voting.

House Democratic leadership issued this statement: “Vote by designation is the longstanding practice of the chamber. That said, the House is currently dealing with a unique and sad set of circumstances and the House will respond appropriately. Rep. Boyle desperately needs help, not partisan performative politics. Rest assured, in short order, the state House will be taking appropriate, compassionate and affirmative steps to address this matter without theater, partisanship or delay.”

Last Tuesday, House Majority Leader Matt Bradford issued a statement that read, “I love Kevin, but I have serious concerns about his mental health and it breaks my heart to see him this way. I hope he gets the help he needs.”

On Thursday, Bradford introduced HR 403, which will provide for a process to examine whether a member is fit to serve as state representative. 

Police said Boyle, 44, was being sought due to text messages sent to his ex-wife, though they added that the texts were not threatening.

Last Tuesday, Boyle was not in Harrisburg but voted on bills by designation. He was expected to turn himself in that night, but never did.

Boyle was not expected to have a primary challenge until a video surfaced in early February of him at Gaul & Co. Malt House, in Rockledge. Boyle tells bartenders and patrons that he will “f—— end this bar.” Later, he calls people at the bar “f—— idiots” and “f—— morons,” and tells them to “push me out” when they urge him to leave. He tells the people they are “not from here” and will prevent them from being promoted in the military, though the people respond that they are not in the military. The video ends with Boyle saying, “This bar is done,” and, “Do you know who the f— I am.”

Democrats, realizing that Boyle would surely lose re-election to a Republican, quickly recruited lawyer Sean Dougherty to enter the race.

The primary is Tuesday. Boyle is not running an active campaign and his office has not been proactive since the video surfaced.

If Boyle wins the primary, he’ll face the winner of the Republican primary between Aizaz Gill and Patrick Gushue.

When the video surfaced, House Democratic leaders put out a statement that read, “We are encouraged that our colleague and dear friend is seeking help.”

However, a day later, they reissued a statement that did not include that sentence and instead read, “We continue to encourage our colleague and dear friend to seek help.”

Boyle is the younger brother of U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle. ••

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