Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fumo indicted

Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent Fumo, a Democrat and one of the most powerful men in state politics, was indicted yesterday on 141(!!!) counts, mainly charges that he defrauded taxpayers and his own nonprofit out of more than $2 million.

Mr. Fumo, 63, regularly deployed state workers to perform a litany of personal chores, from overseeing construction at his 33-room Philadelphia mansion to spying on his ex-wife to working his 100-acre farm near Harrisburg, prosecutors charged.

Mr. Fumo, one of the most powerful figures in Pennsylvania politics, misused $1 million in state resources and another $1 million from the nonprofit neighborhood group he controlled, U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said.

The nonprofit was a sham, according to prosecutors.

Despite its charity status, the group covertly funded political activities, including a poll and a lawsuit filed against one of Mr. Fumo's political rivals. Mr. Fumo also used the group's coffers to pay for vehicles, farm equipment, trips and a $600,000 renovation to his South Philadelphia office.

Innocent until proven guilty, of course. But then there was the coverup:

Mr. Fumo, a Democrat who has served in the Senate since 1978, also was charged with obstruction for ordering his staff to destroy years worth of e-mails from government computers.

That don't look good.

Hall of Shame has been updated.

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