Take it Like a Man

As amusing as former state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo's criminal trial was to watch, I find nothing remotely entertaining about the disgraced pol's post-sentencing behavior.

Fumo's lawyers were in court this week clamoring for special treatment for their client at his Nov. 9 resentencing hearing.

The self-described James Brown of Harrisburg has apparently become something of a sloth behind bars. He's gained weight and seems depressed. He's grown long hair and a beard, reminiscent of former City Councilman Rick Mariano -- who once boasted to me in an interview at the federal prison at Ft. Dix that he was letting his "freak flag fly."

Oh, and all things being equal, Fumo would prefer to be treated like a VIP.

At Monday's hearing, another of Fumo's attorneys, Peter Goldberger, said Fumo wanted to appear via closed-circuit television to avoid the arduous and demeaning travel itinerary often used by the U.S. marshals to transport prisoners, McCoy wrote.

So the pol who once spent his days on yachts would rather avoid traveling like the common criminal he is as defined by the federal Bureau of Prisons?

Known even by U.S. marshals as "Con Air," the air service and subsequent bus trips are loathed by many inmates, McCoy continued. Conceivably, Goldberger said, the marshals might fly Fumo from Kentucky to Oklahoma, and then to Brooklyn, N.Y. From there, Goldberger said, Fumo might have to ride a prison bus to Philadelphia.

"It's a terrible experience," Goldberger said. Cogan said later that cons call it "diesel therapy."

Could the real deal be as awful as the Nic Cage movie of the same name? Is diesel therapy anything like the retail therapy Fumo engaged in when spending all that OPM, his shorthand for "Other People's Money?"

Gimme a break and give it a rest. Do the crime, do the time and don't whine. Surely a guy as tough as Fumo knows that.

-- Monica Yant Kinney

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