In the last 12 days, Pennsylvania State Rep. Margo Davidson has been charged twice with driving with a suspended license.
Both times, she was driving a taxpayer-funded car, officials said.
Davidson got the first summary offense Feb. 2, when she illegally drove and crashed a state vehicle in Concord Township, according to a police report and court documents.
Then, on Wednesday, officials charged the Delaware County Democrat with four more summary offenses for a separate accident that occurred in January.
A police source said Davidson allegedly fled the scene of a crash Jan. 11. In addition to being charged with driving with a suspended license, she was cited for failing to notify police of the accident, drive a vehicle at safe speed, and give information and render aid.
Details of the January crash were scant. Davidson did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Davidson told the Inquirer and Daily News that she is pleading not guilty to the charge of driving with a suspended license on Feb. 2. She also disputed a Pennsylvania State Police report that said she was to blame for that accident.
According to the documents, Davidson’s car hit another vehicle about 8 p.m. while she was trying to pull out of a driveway. She received a citation that day for entering traffic unsafely, or without giving an appropriate signal.
Davidson, however, said that the other car hit her when she was fully on the road.
She also said the police officer who arrived at the scene on Feb. 2 was “very rude and nasty” to her. As emergency personnel pulled her out of the vehicle, she said the cop asked: ” ‘Why were you driving this car? Are you allowed to drive this car? Did you steal this car?’ ”
Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Adam Reed said he “can’t comment on any interactions that took place at the scene.”
After the February crash, Davidson, 55, was transported to the hospital. She said she was discharged hours later, and wore a neck brace for a few days. The driver in the other car was also taken to the hospital “with the complaint of injury to his neck and left arm,” according to police documents.
Police sources said Davidson’s license was suspended in Pennsylvania following an incident in another state. On July 2, 2016, Davidson was issued a $210 speeding ticket in Virginia. But she did not pay it on time, according to court records, and was charged with failure to pay fines and costs on Aug. 24, 2016.
If a person neglects to pay a ticket on time in Virginia, his or her driver’s license is suspended, said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker. Virginia also notifies a driver’s home state of the delinquency.
Alexis Campbell, a spokeswoman for PennDOT, said any Pennsylvania residents who fail to respond to out-of-state citations are notified by mail and told they must pay up within 35 days. If they don’t, their Pennsylvania licenses are suspended.
On Tuesday, Davidson did not dispute that her license was suspended, but she said it never should have been taken away.
Davidson said she received a letter from PennDOT “around October or November” notifying her that she must pay the ticket or her license would be suspended. The deadline to respond, according to Davidson, was “right around Dec. 25.” She paid the ticket on Dec. 27, 2016, according to court records.
Davidson said a representative at the Virginia DMV then told her that it would send a copy of her receipt to PennDOT. “But the paperwork was never received by Pennsylvania or never sent by Virginia,” said Davidson. “I don’t know which.”
Davidson said that she did not know that her license was suspended until police notified her at the scene of the Feb. 2 accident. After she found out, she said, she obtained a receipt from Virginia and gave it to PennDOT. “That resolved the matter,” she said.
PennDOT declined to comment on whether Davidson’s license has been reinstated. “Due to state and federal privacy laws, we are unable to comment on an individual’s driving record,” said Campbell.
Stephen Rudman, a spokesman for Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services, said owners of taxpayer-funded cars must notify the state if their licenses are suspended. State officials also said Davidson never told them about the January crash.
“DGS was not provided any information indicating that Representative Davidson had a change in her driving status until Feb. 13, 2018,” said Rudman. “DGS was informed of the [February] accident by the House, and the vehicle is at a repair shop.”
Asked why it took so long to pay the Virginia ticket, Davidson said via text: “I paid and sent [it] as soon as I was in [the] position to do so. I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs every day. … I am, in fact, serving 62,000 people.”