"Could an employee act as a maid or go shopping [on behalf of a senator] on Senate time?" asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Zauzmer.
"No, I would have concerns about that," Faber said. "That's not part of their legislative duties."
Earlier yesterday, in his opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pease said that Fumo was a "greedy" man with a "profound sense of entitlement" who used "other people's money" to enhance his lifestyle.
Pease told jurors in his opening argument that Fumo's son-in-law, Christian Marrone, who worked as a legislative aide for Fumo from 1997 to 2002, spent 18 months on his job overseeing the renovation of Fumo's Green Street mansion full time and was later rewarded with an $8,000 raise, courtesy of the taxpayers.
"He [Fumo] violated the public trust and he did so through fraud, deception and greed," Pease said.
In his first public defense of Fumo, the senator's attorney, Dennis J. Cogan, painted a different picture. He said that Fumo was the "stuff of legend" in Harrisburg and "ran a 24-7 operation" so that he could tend to his constituents.
Cogan said that under Senate rules a senator can use staffers to do personal tasks if it makes him a more effective senator for his constituents.
He depicted Marrone as a "disgruntled" son-in-law who had not had any contact with Fumo in years.
At one point, Cogan belittled the government's corruption case.
"My client is not charged with taking a bribe, selling his office for a single vote or failing to provide services for his constituents," he said, as he mocked the feds' 264-page indictment.
The government says that Fumo defrauded the Senate, a nonprofit community organization and a maritime museum to the tune of $3.5 million.
Pease said that Fumo also engaged in the "most outrageous attempts" to thwart the federal investigation by having staffers delete e-mails and wipe computer hard drives.
Also charged in the case is Ruth Arnao, a former aide and later executive director of the Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, the community group that Fumo is accused of looting.
The organization was founded by Fumo to help clean up blighted neighborhoods in his South Philadelphia district.
But Pease told jurors that Fumo and Arnao had stolen $1.4 million from the nonprofit to finance a lavish lifestyle.
Among other things, Pease said, Citizens Alliance bought a Town & Country minivan loaded to the max for $36,000 in 2001 for Fumo and Arnao to use at their Jersey Shore homes.
He said that while Citizens' workers used "cheap paint" to cover over graffiti in South Philadelphia neighborhoods, Fumo and Arnao used $100-a-gallon paint from Holland that they expensed to Citizens to spruce up their Shore homes.
Ed Jacobs, Arnao's attorney, said in his opening statement that it was true that Arnao had worked for Citizens while she was still on Fumo's Senate payroll. Arnao did some work for Citizens from the late 1990s until 2004, when she was hired full-time by Citizens. She resigned in 2006, after the federal probe became public.
He said that Arnao, whom he described as "a doer," oversaw Citizen investments in charter schools, affordable housing, neighborhood redevelopment and the purchase of vans, vests and bicycles for city cops.
"These were the things [Arnao] was doing when the government says she wasn't earning her salary," Jacobs said. *