Thursday, November 12, 2009
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett is charging former House Speaker John Perzel with spending more than ten million tax dollars on a series of computer programs designed to help House Republicans win elections.
Corbett, a Republican running for governor, says Perzel put publicly-funded legislative staffers to work developing complex databases aimed at boosting Republican turnout during elections.
The Philadelphia Republican also allegedly approved multi-million dollar contracts with private software firms that put together election programs for the caucus.
Nine Republican staffers have also been charged, including former state representative and chief caucus counsel Brett Feese, who Corbett says obstructed justice by forging fake notes and attempting to hide evidence.
This is the second round of indictments in the long-running legislative corruption investigation. Last year, 12 Democrats were charged.
Corbett says the main difference is that Democrats misdirected tax dollars to pay for campaign staff work, while the Republicans illegally spent money on technology.
Perzel has released a statement saying he’s innocent, and that Corbett is engaged in a politically opportunistic effort to boost his gubernatorial campaign.
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