Stetler joined Revenue after stint in House
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HARRISBURG - Stephen H. Stetler, who was charged in a public corruption investigation yesterday, was appointed state revenue secretary two years after he left the Legislature as a state representative from York.
At the time, some saw the appointment as payback for helping Mr. Rendell during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Stetler hosted fundraisers at his home and stumped for Mr. Rendell anywhere he could find a microphone.
Mr. Stetler helped other Democrats find their way into Capitol offices, too.
His role as former chairman of the House Democratic Campaign Committee caught investigators' attention during the Bonusgate probe of government corruption. A witness told the investigating grand jury that Mr. Stetler rejected a plan to hire private firms to take over campaign work being done by state employees. The work involved conducting research on political opponents.
As a lawmaker, he served as chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee and helped steer money to York for construction of a $12 million baseball stadium and a performing arts center.
Among other policy achievements, he helped pass legislation that provides incentives for businesses to clean contaminated sites.
As revenue secretary, Mr. Stetler, 60, was responsible for the collection of all Pennsylvania taxes. He also served as executive director of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Economy League.
He began is career in public service as a staffer in the state Revenue Department in the 1970s.
In the private sector, he was a partner in D.E. Stetler and Son, a family car dealership in York.
Mr. Stetler is treasurer of the York Benevolent Association, a trustee for York College of Pennsylvania and senior warden on the vestry of the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Baptist in York.
A York native, he received a bachelor of arts and a master of divinity from Drew University in Madison, N.J., and a master of administrative science degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Mr. Stetler and his wife Polly have two grown children, Graham and Catherine.
First Published December 16, 2009 12:00 am