Karen Heller: Fumo returning, with a few scores to settle

Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo was sentenced in 2009 after his conviction on corruption charges.
Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo was sentenced in 2009 after his conviction on corruption charges. (MATT ROURKE / Associated Press)
Posted: November 02, 2011

Next week marks the fleeting return of former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo to the city where he once wielded considerable power and lived like a pasha, not to mention his being among Oreck Vacuum's top customers.

In 2009, Fumo was found guilty on all 137 counts of "my so-called crime" by a "dumb, corrupt and prejudiced" jury, given that he was "hounded forever by evil prosecutors who run amok without any restraint!"

These observations, and so many more - Vince Raw - can be found in the government's resentencing memorandum, despite the exhortations of Fumo's lawyers and financée to be prudent because, as a federal prisoner, his messages are not private.

"Shush up!! PLEASE," Carolyn Zinni pleaded. "Be a good boy."

Did Fumo listen? No, he did not.

Was he a good boy? That's not how Vince rolls.

"I do feel Christlike in the injustice I have suffered throughout this whole nightmare!!!" he wrote. "I feel like Caesar and Christ all tied into one with Brutus and Judas both stabbing me in the back."

Having served two years of a 55-month sentence has not made Fumo repentant and modest. His 29-room Green Street home is "the NICEST in the city," he bragged to a NINTH GRADER. (OK, those caps are mine.)

He hoped to resume power, writing an unnamed state senator that, when he gets out, "I will straighten some things out for you guys" and "begin building again!"

Fumo railed about The Inquirer. "The Inky will NEVER print the scenario that I am missed. They put me here and are still trying to keep me here longer. They absolutely HATE me."

Vince, you are missed!! We don't absolutely HATE you. How could we absolutely HATE someone who reminds himself of Caesar and Christ all tied into one?

Fumo displays behavior that might get his Mensa card revoked. Using "graphically derogatory terms" and unprintable names about federal prosecutors who are "evil and deserve to one day suffer" may not be the smartest move when you're going to face them in court again after a federal appeals court ordered Judge Ronald Buckwalter to reconsider the sentence.

Fumo demeans former employees whom, despite their being on the state payroll, he treated like personal servants for his travel, farm, and the NICEST home in the city. "I can't believe I had a life surrounded by such scum!" He castigates codefendant and "friend" Ruth Arnao: "I trusted Ruth and the others to do the right thing and found that they created a disaster of petty theft."

That is, if your idea of petty is costing taxpayers and charities $4 million.

Fumo swears vengeance on people who crossed him during the trial: "I will repay all of those --- some day!" He told former Inquirer reporter Ralph Cipriano, with whom he was collaborating on a potential autobiography, that he wanted to launch "the 'Et Tu Brute' list. It will be all the people I helped who --- me over."

Their proposed title: The Senator: Vince Fumo, the most effective legislator in America and how he was undone by a bankrupt newspaper and an overzealous prosecution.

One clarification: The Inquirer is no longer bankrupt.

Behind bars, Vince continued his shopaholic tendencies, which would put any Bravo housewife to shame, considering the purchase of an antique Farmall tractor Model H, "1943 - my birth year would be special."

Despite defense arguments that Fumo is in declining health, he crows, "I'm still in pretty damn good shape for my age and lifestyle!" He's gained 19 pounds in prison, partial to the biscuits and gravy, conceding "being here is mostly relaxing," shooting pool, subscribing to 55 magazines, reading books, and - I am not making this up - taking a correspondence course in yacht design.

For the hearing, Fumo wrote, "Maybe I'll let me [sic] hair grow very long again and let me [sic] beard grow as well. I'll try to actually look like the unibomber!:-)"

Or perhaps Caesar and Christ all tied into one.


Contact columnist Karen Heller at 215-854-2586, kheller@phillynews.com, or @kheller on Twitter. Read her past columns at www.philly.com/KarenHeller.

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