Christopher B. Craig, one of former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo’s most loyal aides and widely considered among the best legal minds in the Capitol, has resigned from the Senate after 16 years.
Craig, who is credited with writing the landmark 2004 law legalizing slot machines in Pennsylvania, said today that he resigned from his $158,300-a-year-post as a top lawyer for Senate Democrats to explore other job opportunities.
But several sources familiar with the matter said that Craig resigned after learning that he would not be continuing as the chief counsel to Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee and would be reassigned to a lower legal post. Still, after he submitted his letter of resignation recently, Craig’s allies tried to land him another top job in the chamber only for Senate Minority Leader Bob Mellow (D., Lackawanna) to block the efforts.
Mellow, through his spokesman, declined to comment because it was a personnel matter. But sources said that Mellow viewed Craig’s departure as a way for the caucus to distance itself from allegations that Fumo (D., Phila.) misused state resources and his staff for his own benefit.
Craig’s name has come up repeatedly in the corruption case against Fumo, now playing out in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia. In the indictment against the former 30-year senator, Craig is identified as Person No. 10. He has not been charged.