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 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.

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Former Speaker John Perzel

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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