Per the Inquirer, Phillip Fisher Jr, of Philadelphia, volunteered as an outreach coordinator with Moms for Liberty, a self-described “parental rights” organisation labelled an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its “antigovernment” views and push against inclusion in schools. Fisher, a local pastor and Republican ward leader, was convicted in 2012 of aggravated sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy in Chicago, Illinois, the Inquirer reported.
Fisher, 25 at the time, pleaded guilty to one of 12 counts brought against him, according to court documents obtained by the Inquirer.
Fisher did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.
Vince Fenerty, chair of Philadelphia’s Republican City Committee, told the Inquirer he was unaware of Fisher’s conviction until they reached him for comment. He subsequently asked for and received Fisher’s resignation as leader of Philadelphia’s 42nd Ward, the Inquirer reported.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Moms of Liberty directed The Independent to a series of tweets from the organisation and its co-founder.
Moms for Liberty responded on X, formerly Twitter, by posting the results of a background check on Fisher conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
“Our chapter chair did a background check with Pennsylvania DHS and he was cleared pursuant to Child Protective Services law,” Moms for Liberty wrote.
Tina Descovich, co-founder of the organisation, posted on X to clarify that Fisher was only a volunteer for Moms for Liberty.
“He is certified by the state as ALL CLEAR,” Descovich wrote. “It’s remarkable how much time is spent trying to destroy us. The story should be about the PA system certifying this guy.”
Fisher is listed on Pennsylvania’s website for registered sex offenders, a list maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police. A DHS spokesperson told the Inquirer, “not all criminal convictions involving minors are considered child abuse,” when asked about the certificate posted by Moms for Liberty.
Fisher volunteered at Moms for Liberty’s 2023 annual summit in Philadelphia, the Inquirer reported. The event caught nationwide attention when Tiffany Justice, the group’s co-founder, said the group’s political action committee will begin to engage in schoolboard races across the country, indicating a growing political strategy to impact education infrastructure. Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also spoke at the event, per the Associated Press.