Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Perzel pleads guilty, issues apology in corruption case

John Perzel, the Northeast Philly native who rose from maitre d' of a restaurant there to Speaker of the state House, pleaded guilty this afternoon to two counts each of theft, conflict of interest and conspiracy. You can read more about Perzel's case here. And here is the apology Perzel issued today:

Perzel pleads guilty, issues apology in corruption case

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Former Speaker John Perzel
Former Speaker John Perzel CAROLYN KASTER / Associated Press

John Perzel, the Northeast Philly native who rose from maitre d' of a restaurant there to Speaker of the state House, pleaded guilty this afternoon to two counts each of theft and conflict of interest along with four counts of conspiracy.  You can read more about Perzel's case here.  And here is the apology Perzel issued today:

I said from the start of this case that I would fight the charges against me, and I have done so for nearly every day of the last two years. It is a fight that has taken an enormous toll on my family and the friends who have been so steadfast in their support.

I have decided today that my fight has come to an end. The truth is that as the legislative leader of my caucus, I oversaw the spending of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, and I bear the responsibility for the improprieties that occurred in the spending of those dollars. It was up to me to see that taxpayer funds were spent only for the betterment of the people of Pennsylvania, and not for my political benefit or that of my party.

To the people of Pennsylvania; to the voters who put their trust in me for the 32 years that I had the privilege of serving the 172nd District; and to my family and friends, I want to express my profound regret for my actions. You had a right to expect better from me, and I am sorry that I let you down.

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About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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