Thursday, May 28, 2009
Less than a week after a judge dismissed corruption charges against a former Democratic lawmaker, Attorney General Tom Corbett's office is refiling them but with a new court. A spokesman for the Attorney General is rejecting the idea that the dismissal of corruption charges against Beaver County Democrat Mike Veon was a political setback for Corbett, who's likely running for governor next year. Kevin Harley says Harrisburg District Judge Joseph Solomon applied a higher standard of proof than required during last week's ruling, and prosecutors want a Common Pleas judge to review the refiled charges. Harley says the dismissal wasn't a reflection on the strength of the case against Veon and his aide, Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink. “Obviously at a preliminary hearing the commonwealth doesn't present all of their exhibits, all of their witnesses or all of their evidence. Because we're not required to at a preliminary hearing,” says Harley. Perretta-Rosepink is still facing six charges, though prosecutors have now dropped nine of the 28 claims initially made against Veon. Both defendants are facing charges on theft, and conspiracy as well as other counts, for allegedly misusing taxpayer dollars awarded to the nonprofit agency Beaver Initiative For Growth. Veon's lawyer says he's confident the charges won't stand because his client has done nothing wrong. He says they're politically motivated.