A former chief of staff to ex-state House Speaker John Perzel pleaded guilty today to two felony counts in the legislative corruption probe known as "Bonusgate."
Paul Towhey, 40, of Blue Bell, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of conflict of interest at a hearing in Dauphin Court in Harrisburg. He is the third of a group of ten House Republicans charged as part of the sweeping Capitol corruption investigation launched in 2007 by then-Attorney General Tom Corbett.
Senior deputy attorney general Kenneth Brown told Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis that Towhey conspired with others, including the once powerful Perzel, to use public money for computer research for non-public purposes.
Prosecutors allege that Perzel and the other defendants used as much as $10 million in taxpayer money to fund campaign activities. Among the charges: that they developed computer databases to use against lawmakers from their own party who failed to vote on legislation as Perzel directed.