Lesson in being booted from the bar

Fumo, seen reporting to prison in August. Are those lesson plans he's carrying?

If former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo wants to play jailhouse lawyer, he’ll have to do so without a law license now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has disbarred him temporarily.

Only temporarily? What do you have to do in this state to get booted out of the bar for good – get convicted on more than 137 counts of corruption?

It seems that there’s no such thing as permanent disbarment under the rules governing lawyers, reports a spokeswoman for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court.

Then again, maybe Fumo is thinking of another career when he completes his 55-month prison sentence for fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice.

As The Inquirer’s Michael Klein reported the other day in his Inqlings column, Fumo, 66, is returning to his teaching roots while behind bars. Having once taught biology and current events at the old Bishop Neumann High, he has been schooling fellow inmates in history at the federal prison in Ashland, Ky.

That’s entirely fitting, in a way, because Fumo’s personal downfall should serve as a lesson to any other elected official in Pennsylvania who might be tempted to put his hand in the cookie jar.