Pat Meehan

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Pat Meehan
Pat Meehan, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Joe Sestak
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
In office
September 17, 2001 – July 15, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Michael Stiles
Succeeded by Laurie Magid (Acting)
District Attorney of Delaware County
In office
January 9, 1996 – September 17, 2001
Preceded by William Ryan
Succeeded by Patricia Holsten
Personal details
Born Patrick Leo Meehan
(1955-10-20) October 20, 1955 (age 63)
Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carolyn Meehan
Alma mater Bowdoin College
Temple University
Religion Roman Catholicism

Patrick Leo "Pat" Meehan (born October 20, 1955) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district since January 3, 2011. The district includes parts of Delaware County, Chester, and Montgomery Counties. He succeeded Democrat Joe Sestak, who ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate.

Meehan sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure, Oversight and Government Reform, and Homeland Security Committees. On the Homeland Security Committee, Meehan chairs the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

A graduate of Bowdoin College and Temple University, Meehan previously served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2001–2008) and as district attorney of Delaware County, Pennsylvania (1996–2001).

Early life and education

Born and raised in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania by his parents Leo and Julia, Meehan is one of four siblings. He attended Bowdoin College in Maine, graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While at Bowdoin, Meehan was a standout hockey player and went on to work as a National Hockey League referee from 1979 to 1982.[1] Meehan attended Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated with his Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 1986.

Private law practice

After graduating from law school in 1986, Meehan went to work as an associate at the law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP. On July 7, 2008, Meehan stepped down from his position. On July 16, 2008, Meehan announced that he was joining the Philadelphia law firm of Conrad O'Brien Gellman & Rohn.[2]

Early political career

Meehan’s career in public service and politics began in 1979 when he worked with Republican candidate David Marston on his Philadelphia mayoral campaign. A year later, he worked on Roy Zimmerman's campaign for Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Meehan went on to serve as Special Counsel to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. He was a campaign manager for U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Philadelphia D.A. Ron Castille, and State Attorney General Ernie Preate.[3]

District Attorney (1996–2001)

In 1995, Meehan was elected the District Attorney of Delaware County as a Republican. During Meehan's tenure, his staff prosecuted several high-profile cases, including the Du Pont Murder Trial, (a case involving the murder of Olympic wrestler David Schultz by his millionaire benefactor John Eleuthère du Pont) and the 1996 murder of a 22-year-old college student named Aimee Willard (who was abducted from Route 476 and found in an abandoned lot in North Philadelphia).[3]

While serving as District Attorney, Meehan set up the Special Victims Unit for Domestic Violence in Delaware County, offering victims protection from their alleged abusers by allowing the prosecution to occur without the victims testifying in open court.[4] As D.A., he also focused on protecting youth by expanding the Youth Aid Panel program for first time offenders and creating a truancy project to limit youth-related crime during the day. Meehan established the United States Department of Justice’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) in Pennsylvania. The ICAC is a special unit of detectives who investigate online predators on the web and bring them to justice; it has become a model across the country.

U.S. Attorney (2001–2008)

Meehan became the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on September 17, 2001, six days after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. Meehan headed an office of over 200 lawyers and staff backed up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Office. As U.S. Attorney, Meehan made terrorism, gang-related crime, child internet safety, and public corruption priorities for his criminal division. Public corruption in Philadelphia in particular was brought to the spotlight in 2003 when a FBI electronic listening device was found in the Philadelphia Mayor’s office.

In light of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Meehan formed the Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATTF), later renamed the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to evaluate and prevent future terrorist attacks. This initiative was done in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement and emergency responders. The ATAC has led large-scale exercises on biological attacks and the poisoning of the food supply in partnership with Saint Joseph’s University in order to help Eastern Pennsylvania prepare for terrorist attacks.[5][full citation needed]

Recognizing the expansion of gang-related activity in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, Meehan sought a $2.5 million dollar Department of Justice grant to fight and prevent gang violence for the region. The unique “Route 222 Corridor Anti-Gang Initiative” brought together elected officials and law enforcement personnel with community groups to fight gangs in a rural area unfamiliar with big-city gang violence. The money was divided among enforcement, prevention and rehabilitation. The program aimed not only to increase arrests, but also to fund school programs and community centers to educate youth about alternatives to gang life.[5][full citation needed]

Continuing the work he began while he was Delaware County D.A., Meehan made child safety on the internet a priority, sponsoring internet safety training seminars with Web Wise Kids and visiting local schools. Meehan’s office prosecuted substandard nursing homes and elder care facilities, and nefarious lenders who offered ill-advised loans to disadvantaged homeowners. The U.S. Attorney’s Office under Meehan was nationally recognized for its work in the field of health-care fraud. The office won more than half a billion dollars in settlements against some of the largest pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers, ensuring better self-policing and oversight by the industry.[6][full citation needed]

Public corruption cases

Though he has been active in a wide variety of areas, it has been several high-profile public corruption cases that have put Meehan in the headlines. Philadelphia is well known for its “pay to play” culture that rewards patronage rather than merit. Since taking office, Meehan and his office have been actively prosecuting corrupt Philadelphia city officials. Meehan has said, "Pay to play cannot be standard operating procedure in city government.[7]

This was brought to national attention on October 7, 2003 when Philadelphia Police conducted a sweep of Mayor John F. Street’s office and found an electronic listening device. It was later discovered that the “bug” had been planted by the FBI as part of a city corruption investigation. Street was never charged in the investigation. Philadelphia officials and the mayor were outraged, especially with the timing coinciding with the Philadelphia mayoral election on November 4, 2003. Street’s campaign spokesman went so far as to accuse the federal government of attempting to influence the election (which Street ended up winning anyway).[8] Meehan was applauded in the press and in the city for his handling of the situation, which resulted in twelve indictments including that of Street confidant Ronald White (who died before he could stand trial) and city treasurer Corey Kemp, who was convicted and sentenced to ten years in federal prison.[9]

Other city officials prosecuted by Meehan’s office included former city councilman Rick Mariano (who was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison for accepting bribes and attempting to influence city contracts), the President of the Independence Seaport Museum John S. Carter (who was sentenced to 15 years for cheating the museum out of $1.5 million), Montgomery County accountant Denis Shusterman (for embezzling $10 million, he received a 14-year sentence),[10] and State Senator Vincent Fumo (who was convicted on a 139-count indictment including fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges carrying a ten-year sentence).[11]

U.S. House of Representatives (2011–Present)



Meehan began his campaign for Pennsylvania governor in 2008.[12] On August 7, 2009, however, he announced that he was ending his exploratory bid and would instead run for Congress. Reports indicated that another candidate, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, was too far ahead of Meehan in fundraising and endorsements.[13]

Meehan decided to run in Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district election, vacated by Joe Sestak, who defeated U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in 2010 in the Democratic Party primary, but lost to Republican Pat Toomey in the general election. Meehan ran unopposed for the Republican Party nomination in the May 18, 2010 Republican primary.

To appear on the primary election ballot a candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania is required to collect valid signatures of 1,000 registered voters in the congressional district. When evidence of fraud in some of Meehan's petitions was discovered by the Meehan campaign, Meehan alerted the Delaware County District Attorney. Michael Green, the District Attorney and Meehan supporter, turned over the matter to the office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Because the Attorney General, Tom Corbett, is the Republican candidate for governor, Lentz requested that the United States Department of Justice take over the investigation.[14] Paul Summers, a Republican campaign operative and volunteer, was charged with seven counts of forgery and seven counts of making false signatures.[15] He was convicted on seven of the charges after pleading guilty as part of a plea-bargain deal.[16]

Meehan defeated Democratic State Representative Bryan Lentz 55%–44%.[17][18][19]


Meehan won re-election to a second term with 60% of the vote over Democrat George Badey.[20]


Meehan won re-election in 2014, defeating Democrat Mary Ellen Balchunis with 62% of the vote.[21]


Meehan is running for re-election in 2016. He defeated Stan Casacio in the Republican primary, and will face Democrat Mary Ellen Balchunis in the general election.[22]


Meehan was sworn in on January 5, 2011. He was appointed to serve as one of just three freshman members on the House Republican Steering Committee, and became one of a select few House freshmen to chair a subcommittee. He has joined the Republican Main Street Partnership.[23]

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Meehan chairs the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Meehan has held hearings to investigate issues such as Iran's ties to terrorism and the risks posed by extremists in Pakistan.[24]

Meehan voted to repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As far as fiscal policy, he voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011,[25] Cut, Cap and Balance Act,[26] and voted to defund NPR.[27] Among bills that became law, he voted for the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act[28] and to extend the Patriot Act.[29]

Meehan has introduced the Jump Start for Job Creators Act, legislation that would encourage entrepreneurs to create jobs by increasing the maximum tax deduction for small business start-up expenses.[30] Meehan has led the effort to preserve funding for the V-22 Osprey.,[31] an advanced military aircraft manufactured in Meehan's district.[32]

In June, Meehan announced that six Chester County fire companies in Pennsylvania will receive $430,000 in federal grants to purchase new radios and rescue equipment.[33]

Meehan supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.[34]

On November 14, 2013, Meehan introduced the Preclearance Authorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 3488; 113th Congress), a bill that would authorize the United States Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish preclearance facilities, conduct preclearance operations, or provide customs services outside of the United States of America to prevent terrorists, terrorist instruments, and other national security threats from gaining access to the United States.[35]

On February 6, 2014, Meehan introduced the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 4007; 113th Congress), a bill that would make permanent the United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) authority to regulate security at certain chemical facilities in the United States.[36] Under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, DHS collects and reviews information from chemical facilities in the United States to determine which facilities present security risks and then requires them to write and enact security plans.[36]

In November 2015, Meehan's H.R. 1314, The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, was enacted into law,[37] avoiding a government shutdown.[38]

Committee assignments


Meehan introduced legislation, titled the 'Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2013' (CIRDA), that passed the subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies in 2013. The bill aims to make key improvements in security for important infrastructure. The measure calls for expansion in research and development for security technology as well as implementing a new strategy in dealing with cyber threats that the Department of Homeland Security faces. This bill would also streamline sharing of these technologies to many other branches of government, thus making them more secure as a whole.[39][40]

In 2013, Meehan introduced a bill called the Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2952; 113th Congress). If signed into law, the bill would require more oversight of the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity goals, according to Ripon Advance. The bill would require DHS to transmit to the Congress a strategic plan for research and development efforts addressing the protection of critical infrastructure and a report on departmental use of public-private consortiums to develop technology to protect such infrastructure.[41] On January 16, 2014, the United States House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies passed the bill,[42] and in February the full Homeland Security Committee approved the bill.[43] On July 28, 2014, the House voted to pass the bill in a voice vote.[44][45]

Personal life

Meehan, his wife Carolyn and their three sons live in Delaware County.[46]


  1. McCutcheon, Michael; Barone, Chuck (2013). 2014 Almanac of American Politics. The University of Chicago Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan to step down Philadelphia Inquirer – Mon, Jul. 7, 2008 by Emilie Lounsberry. Accessed July 7, 2008 11:23 AM
  3. 3.0 3.1 Joseph A. Slobozian, "A decisive, focused style from new U.S. attorney." Philadelphia Inquirer. 9/15/2001; Pg. B01
  4. Lynch, Danielle (October 28, 2012). "Meehan, Badey square off in 7th Congressional District race". Daily Times News. Retrieved 24 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan (Official Bio), Accessed 1/19/2008
  6. J.F. Pirro, "Justice Served (Straight Up)." Mainline Today, 7/11/2007
  7. Mark Fazlollah and Joseph Tanfani, "Probe reveals city's shadow government." Philadelphia Inquirer. 6/30/2004; Pg. A01.
  8. Nicole Weisensee Egan, "Meehan 'Plays It Straight'; U.S. Attorney Lauded As Man of Integrity." Philadelphia Daily News. 10/9/2003; Pg. 06
  9. Michael Hinkelman, "5 guilty in City Hall corruption case appeal convictions." Philadelphia Daily News. 6/6/2007. Pg. 06"
  10. John Shiffman, "Big jail time for museum cheat; John Carter." Philadelphia Inquirer. 11/3/2007. Pg. A01
  11. Craig R. McCoy and John Shiffman, "The Case Against Fumo." Philadelphia Inquirer. 2/7/2007. State and Regional News
  19. "Top Recruit Poised to Enter Race for Sestak Seat". Roll Call. 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2010-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "2014 General Election". Pennsylvania Departmnet of State. Retrieved 24 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Rose, Alex (April 27, 2016). "Meehan, Balchunis win right to run for Congress in 7th District". Daily Local News. Retrieved 24 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Elected Officials". The Republican Main Street Partnership. 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. The Washington Post Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. The Washington Post Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
  33. "6 Chester County fire companies receive grants". June 24, 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "H.R. 3488 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 7 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. 36.0 36.1 "CBO – H.R. 4007". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 7 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "Bipartisan CIRDA Act passes subcommittee". Ripon Advance. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Subcommittee Markup: H.R. 2952 CIRDA Act of 2013 and H.R. 3107 the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act". U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. Retrieved 30 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. "CBO – H.R. 2952". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 28 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. Aaron Martin (2014-1-21). "Meehan bill would enhance cybersecurity". Ripon Advance. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  43. "Cybersecurity bill gains subcommittee approval". Ripon Advance. February 11, 2014. (Retrieved same).
  44. "H.R. 2952 – All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. "3 Bills To Protect Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Attack Passed By House". Homeland Security Today. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Ryan
District Attorney of Delaware County
Succeeded by
Patricia Holsten
Preceded by
Michael Stiles
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Laurie Magid
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joe Sestak
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
David McKinley
R-West Virginia
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mick Mulvaney
R-South Carolina