Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DeWeese Held for Trial

For the second time in a week, a Pennsylvania state lawmaker has been ordered to stand trial on corruption charges. Following a preliminary hearing Monday, Linglestown District Judge William Wenner said he heard enough evidence to hold State Representative Bill DeWeese of Greene County for trial. The former House Speaker was indicted in December but remains in the House and won his Democratic primary in May. He's charged with theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest
Former aides testified for the prosecution including Kevin Sidella who was given immunity. Sidella testified that there was not enough legitimate legislative work to go around so he did campaign fundraising on state time.
Another DeWeese aide, who faces similar charges, waived her right to a preliminary hearing.
Last week, State Senator Jane Orie of Pittsburgh's North Hills was ordered to stand trial on charges she used her state-paid legislative staff to do campaign work for her and her sister, State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin.

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