The two powerful Philadelphia Democrats have had a love-hate relationship for years, but Gov. Rendell nonetheless plans to take the witness stand next week as a character witness for Vincent J. Fumo.
Rendell received a subpoena from Fumo’s defense team today and is scheduled to testify at the former state senator’s corruption trial at 10:30 Monday morning.
“The governor is not quite sure what relevant information he has, but he will honor the subpoena and obviously will testify truthfully,” said Chuck Ardo, Rendell’s press secretary.
After three months, the government wrapped up its case against Fumo last week. Rendell is among a long list of nearly 200 potential defense witnesses, many of them top officials from the world of politics.
The two-term governor and Philadelphia mayor might not seem like the best choice for a character witness for Fumo, especially given one episode alleged in the government’s fall 2007 indictment: That Fumo used a state-paid private eye to spy on Rendell’s construction of a shore home.
Ardo acknowledged that Rendell and Fumo have not always seen eye-to-eye politically.
Their relationship? “I would characterize it as a long-running rivalry between two powerful Philadelphia political figures,” said Ardo.
But Rendell appears to have put that behind him.
Last February, the governor endorsed Fumo for another term, saying at the time that "We would be lost in Harrisburg without him because of his skill.”
Fumo later decided to end his 30-year senator career to focus on his defense.
Click here for Philly.com's politics page.