Monday, September 1, 2014
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Source: Montco GOP chair to be charged with sex assault

The chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee is under investigation for alleged sexual assault, a source told the Daily News.

Source: Montco GOP chair to be charged with sex assault

Robert Kerns. (Source: www.kernslaw.com)
Robert Kerns. (Source: www.kernslaw.com)

The chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee is under investigation for alleged sexual assault, a source told the Daily News.

According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, MCRC Chairman Robert J. Kerns, partner in the Lansdale law firm Kerns, Pearlstine, Onorato & Hladik, Llp, allegedly got drunk the night after a major GOP power-broker dinner last month and sexually assaulted a female with whom he worked. Rumors are also circulating that a grand jury is being convened and Kerns' law partner was subpoenaed.

“Somebody alleged that he was drinking and sexually assaulted her, and if he did, he ought to be arrested, tried and properly disciplined,” said the source.

“Many of these things, as you know, are dropped after somebody starts to say, ‘He-said,' 'She-said.' It was supposedly a woman that worked with him. It took place the following evening, 24 hours later - not associated with the county dinner. If it's true, he'll resign, we'll have another election and we'll move on. People are maneuvering, sure they are. So, there's probably something to it."

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Sources: Assault alleged in Kerns' car

Reached by phone Tuesday, Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Robert Gleason and political heavyweight Tom Ellis both said they "can't talk about that," when asked about Kerns.

While no formal charges against Kerns have yet been announced from the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, the rumors have been corroborated by the source, and several others, who spoke off the record.

Gov. Corbett headlined the Oct. 24 GOP annual fall dinner at Westover Country Club in West Norriton, Montgomery County, which was hailed by Kerns as a long-awaited peace agreement between party bigwigs who had been split for more than two decades. The derision within Montgomery County Republicans has been blamed for rather lackluster turnouts and success rates at the polls in recent years.

Calls placed to Kerns' cell were not immediately returned.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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