Friday, April 9, 2010

Hearing on Veon Juror's Blog Posting

A Dauphin County Judge is considering defense assertions that jurors in the public corruption trial of former Beaver County State Representative Mike Veon tainted the case. Common Pleas Judge Richard Lewis heard arguments today on a motion seeking a new trial or similar remedies in the case against Veon and former aides Brett Cott and Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink. The three were convicted March 22nd after more than a week of deliberations of illegally using tax dollars to give bonuses for legislative aides who did campaign work on state time. A third former staffer, Stephen Keefer, was acquitted.
At issue is a blog post by one of the jurors in which he talked about visiting the Capitol in Harrisburg, along with other jurors, to look for Veon's office.
Michael Palermo, the attorney for Perretta-Rosepink Palermo says the trip may have been innocent – but it raises questions.

"The fact of the matter is they went and they had the – it appears from the blog, and I’m not accusing all the jurors of this – but it appears they their intent to do their own research. Which is troubling, because the judge told every juror, you don’t do your own investigation. The only evidence you can look at is what comes off the witness stand."

Palermo said if the visit to the Capitol was innocent, it was innocent. "But if they started looking for stuff and it affected their ability to deliberate, or actually enter deliberations, then that’s a problem."

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