DeWeese returns to prison after brief taste of freedom

Freedom was fleeting for former Rep. Bill DeWeese who reported back to a Harrisburg-area prison today after being released on a technicality almost four days ago.

 Just before 1 p.m. DeWeese told the Inquirer he was heading back to the state prison at Camp Hill to turn himself in after a judge denied a request for release on bail during the appeal process.

The Superior Court ordered DeWeese freed late Friday because the trial judge had not ruled on his motion for bail pending appeal.

The former House speaker and Democratic leader had served four days into a 2 1/2- to 5-year sentence on public corruption charges when he was released.

DeWeese said he spent the weekend riding his bike, hanging out with his girlfriend and eating Chinese food.

Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover today ruled against DeWeese's motion to remain free. His lawyer is again asking the state Superior Court to grant him release on bail.

"He is not a flight risk and not danger to society, as further evidence of that he is turning self in within two hours of the order," said DeWeese's attorney Bill Costopoulos.

DeWeese was convicted on five felony counts as part of the Attorney General's investigation of the state legislature for using public funds for campaign purposes.

DeWeese, who represented three counties in the southwest for the past 35 years, won the Democratic House primary on the day he reported to prison. He expects to remain on the ballot in the fall.


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