Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Crooked pol sprung after 2 years in jail

 

DISGRACED ex-state Rep. Bill DeWeese was released from prison yesterday after finishing his sentence for political corruption.

The Greene County Democrat was released from Retreat state prison in northeastern Pennsylvania yesterday morning, said state prisons spokeswoman Christine McMillan.

The former House speaker and minority leader was serving a 2 1/2- to 5-year sentence for using public employees and taxpayer resources for political purposes. He served just shy of two years in prison.

DeWeese, 63, will be subject to special monitoring and restrictions until the end of his maximum sentence in 2017, according to the state parole board.

DeWeese, an ex-Marine, served 35 years in the House, including many years in Democratic leadership and one term as speaker.

He was among 22 House lawmakers and staff members - 13 Democrats and nine Republicans - who were convicted or pleaded guilty to corruption charges as a result of an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office that began in 2007.

A Dauphin County jury convicted DeWeese of conspiracy, conflict of interest and theft in February 2012 for using his position to persuade or force employees to illegally perform campaign work and misusing public resources.

DeWeese's official portrait hangs among those of other House speakers in a corridor on the main floor of the Capitol. It is not far from the portrait of John Perzel, a Philadelphia Republican who was charged in the same investigation, pleaded guilty to similar charges and was paroled from prison last month.

 

Broad Street Billy (as told to DAN GERINGER) For The Daily News
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