Farnese's staff includes four employees who once worked for Fumo, according to Kline. One of them, Maryann Quartullo, a constituent services aide, helped with the invitations to Fumo's home, Kline confirmed.
"She did this in her off-time, not the Senate's time, using her cellphone, no Senate hardware," Kline said. "She was helping to coordinate contact with some of the former staff members for nothing more than a social get-together."
Kline declined to disclose Quartullo's salary.
Once one of the most powerful Democratic officeholders in the region, Fumo, 70, spent the last four years in a federal prison camp in Ashland, Ky., after a jury convicted him of defrauding the Senate, the Independence Seaport Museum, and a civic group. He was released Aug. 6 to serve the remainder of his sentence, through Feb. 2, in home confinement.
A spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons, Chris Burke, said there were still restrictions on Fumo's activity at home, based on a supervision plan developed by the agency's Community Corrections Office, federal probation officers, and a private contractor supervising Fumo's case.
Angel Levi, executive assistant in the prison system's Northeast regional office, said information on the prospective Sept. 22 gathering would be reviewed "to make sure that it's within the regulations of his supervision plan."
Word of the event fueled speculation that Fumo is angling to resume a significant role in local politics. One rumor had him lined up for a South Philadelphia Democratic ward leadership now held by Rosanne Pauciello, a longtime ally.
Pauciello dismissed that talk as "just a bad rumor. There's no truth to it at all. . . . I have no intention of giving up the ward."
She said she has been invited to the Sept. 22 event, but has not decided if she will go. "I'm still at the Shore," she said.
Contact Bob Warner at 215-854-5885 or email@example.com.