Gov. Tom Corbett Friday announced the appointment of Erik Arneson as executive director of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records.
Arneson has served as communications and policy director for former Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi since 2005. In that role, he was instrumental in the development of Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law and the inception of the Office of Open Records (OOR).
"Erik's policy, legislative and communications skills are a perfect fit to lead Pennsylvania's efforts to maintain open and transparent government response to its citizenry," Gov. Corbett said. "He has been a fierce advocate for the public's right to know and I am confident that he will serve the commonwealth well."
Arneson was instrumental in the negotiation and passage of the Good Samaritan Law for drug overdoses and the state Library Code modernization. He also served as the spokesperson for Senator Pileggi and the Senate Republican Caucus.
He will serve a six-year term and until a successor is appointed and qualified. His salary will be $140,000 and is set by the executive board.
Arneson replaces Terry Mutchler, who served as executive director since the inception of the Office of Open Records and is leaving public service to pursue a career in the private sector. A lawyer and former journalist, she was appointed to a six-year term by former Gov. Ed Rendell.
"On behalf of the entire commonwealth, I thank Terry for her tireless efforts and dedication to the people of Pennsylvania," Gov. Corbett added. "Through her commitment to government openness and transparency, she has helped usher in a new age of government access. We are all better for it."
"I'm extraordinarily grateful for Governor Corbett's confidence in me, and I thank him for this appointment," Erik Arneson said. "I look forward to the challenge of leading the Office of Open Records. Terry Mutchler has done an amazing job of establishing the OOR as a strong, independent office. It has been an honor to work for Senator Pileggi, the architect of Pennsylvania's Open Records Law, over the past eight years. His commitment to transparency and open government is second to none."
"Erik has my 100 percent support," Senator Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware County) said. "He is eminently qualified for the position, and this appointment is well deserved. I have no doubt that he will serve the citizens of Pennsylvania well in the critically important Office of Open Records. I also want to thank Erik for his service to the Senate over the past 18 years."
Arneson, a Temple University graduate, was a reporter prior to joining public service. In addition to his commonwealth service, Arneson is an accomplished columnist and fiction writer. He resides in Cornwall Borough, Lebanon County.
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