Door Closes, Window Opens: Former State House Leader Scores Spot on PA Gaming Control Board

Posted on January 29, 2021 - Last Updated on January 30, 2021

Longtime Pennsylvania House minority leader former state Rep. Frank Dermody found a lucrative new post on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board this week after narrowly losing reelection in November.

According to TribLive.com, Dermody’s salary bumps up by $15,000 annually to $145,000. While he could not take a lobbying job immediately, nothing prevents him from holding an appointed state post.

The 69-year-old Democrat who has served 15 terms is also eligible to draw a pension of about $110,000 a year, based on 30 years of service.

Musical chairs for appointments

Republican Carrie Lewis DelRosso beat the veteran lawmaker by 923 votes. One topic she had targeted was Dermody’s votes for gambling taxes.

One issue DelRosso is likely to encounter early in the legislature is a proposal to increase video gaming terminals across the state.

Dermody replaces Dante Santoni, a former lawmaker he personally had appointed to the board four years ago.

As House minority leader, his successor, state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia, announced the appointment — which she made — on Thursday.

Gaming board is a soft landing for politicians

The board has been a landing spot for former politicians since the positions were created. It includes three members appointed by the governor. Legislative caucus leaders appoint another four members.

Members serve two-year terms. They attend monthly meetings and public hearings and oversee legalized gambling in Pennsylvania.

Ironically, the woman who beat Dermody is now on the House Gaming Oversight Committee, which means she will play a role in setting the legislative agenda for gambling in PA just as he joins the board.

Dermody formerly served as an assistant district attorney and magisterial district judge. He also served on the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing for 19 years, seven of those years as the commission’s chairman.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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