Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sentencing today for ex-Register of Wills, aide

Barbara Reilly instituted a system of forcing county employees to work the polls on Election Day for her and other Republicans, paying them with comp time.

Sentencing today for ex-Register of Wills, aide

Blog Image
Register of Wills Barbara Reilly arrives for her arraignment in March with her attorney, Michael Goodwin. (Inquirer File Photo)

The former Bucks County Register of Wills and one of her top aides are scheduled for sentencing  Monday afternoon for forcing county employees to work the polls on Election Day for her and other Republican candidates.

Barbara Reilly, 76, of Bensalem, who headed the office for 35 years, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years, and administrator Candace Quinn faces a maximum 33 years, though the terms are expected to be considerably less.

Reilly pleaded guilty in November to illegally paying employees with compensatory time to work the polls for her and other Republican candidates and tampering with records. Quinn, 53, of Bristol, pleaded guilty in September to felony charges of theft and conspiracy.   

Reilly “instituted the system of paying comp time for working the polls," her lawyer, Michael Goodwin, said after the November hearing before Philadelphia Senior Judge John Braxton, who is handling the case to avoid conflicts of interest by Bucks County judges.

Reilly, Quinn, and second deputy Rebecca Kiefer, 66, were charged after an eight-month county grand jury investigation. Kiefer also pleaded guilty in November.

Kiefer and Quinn pressured staffers to work the polls and shredded records of their time after word of the grand jury investigation got out, Deputy District Attorney Robin Twombly said.

There was no evidence that Reilly ordered the shredding, but she was responsible because she allowed Kiefer and Quinn to run the office, Twombly said.

A fourth official, former first deputy James McCullen, 76, received probation for knowing about the comp-time system and going along with it.

About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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