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Former state Rep. Margo Davidson pleads guilty to stealing tax dollars

Former State Rep. Margo Davidson has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $6,000 in taxpayer money for seeking reimbursements for bogus expenses.

State Representative Margo Davidson in her Upper Darby office in 2010.
State Representative Margo Davidson in her Upper Darby office in 2010.Read more

Margo Davidson, the Delaware County state representative who announced her resignation in July after being charged with theft for stealing tax dollars, has pleaded guilty and is now barred from holding public office in Pennsylvania, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

“With her actions, Davidson betrayed both her constituents and her oath of office,” Shapiro said in a statement Thursday. “Today is further proof that no one is above the law and that everyone who holds office in Pennsylvania is accountable to the law and the people.”

Davidson, a Democrat who represented Upper Darby and surrounding communities, was accused of filing fraudulent per diem reimbursement requests and various expenses through the State House Comptroller’s Office between 2015 and 2019.

Davidson, who could not be reached for comment, paid full restitution of $6,925 to the state when she was charged and resigned in July.

She pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception, one count of solicitation to hindering apprehension or prosecution, two counts of reporting by candidate and political committee, and one count of organization of political committees.

The plea was entered before Judge Scott Arthur Evans at the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.

Prosecutors with Shapiro’s office said Davidson requested overnight reimbursements for time she did not actually spend in Harrisburg. Those reimbursements, known as per diems, are given to most Pennsylvania legislators when they travel to the Capitol from their home districts.

The Attorney General’s Office said Davidson was also reimbursed by taxpayers for expenses that had already been paid for by her campaign. And prosecutors said she failed to disclose what they called suspicious campaign expenditures on mandated reports, and, at one point during the probe, tried to direct a witness to lie on her behalf.

At the time of her resignation, Davidson, 59, accepted responsibility for her actions in a letter to her constituents.

“As I end this chapter, I can say with all assurance that you may have other representatives, but none that will love you more,” she wrote. “I was a voice and an advocate for underrepresented communities long before I was in the legislature, as I was in it, and I will be a voice for my community long after this day.”