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Brian Preski

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NEWS
September 26, 2011 | By Angela Couloumbis, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - The state Attorney General's Office launched its second political corruption case Monday in Dauphin County Court in a case alleging that millions in taxpayer dollars was used by onetime members of the House Republican caucus to further political campaigns. In his opening statement, Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina said the case - dubbed "Computergate" by the court - was about one thing: "the use of taxpayer money for campaigns. " "It's about powerful people taking the public's money and using it to expand and enhance their campaigns," Fina told the jury of six men and six women.
NEWS
March 20, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Seven defendants in the so-called "Computergate" corruption case, including onetime Philadelphia Republican powerhouse John M. Perzel, are scheduled to be sentenced in Dauphin County Court Tuesday and Wednesday. Perzel and six former legislative and campaign aides pleaded guilty last year, with most agreeing to cooperate in the state Attorney General's Office probe. Prosecutors had initially charged 10 people with participating in a scheme to use sophisticated, state-funded computer programs for campaign purposes.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Former House Speaker John M. Perzel was sentenced to 2-1/2 to 5 years in prison today for his role as mastermind of the so-called "Computergate" scheme to use taxpayer-paid computer programs to win political campaigns. In sentencing Perzel, Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis called the former Republican legislator's conduct a "shocking and flagrant violation of the public trust" that sacrificed "legitimate legislative work. " A grim-faced Perzel said nothing as he left the courthouse.
NEWS
April 22, 2010 | By Angela Couloumbis INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
State Rep. John M. Perzel knew that taxpayer-funded computer programs were being used to benefit political campaigns, a former aide testified Wednesday in a Dauphin County courtroom. William Tomaselli, a former special-projects director for the Northeast Philadelphia Republican, said during a preliminary hearing in the corruption case against Perzel and nine others that the computer programs had been paid for by the House Republican caucus - but that data had been culled from them to benefit political campaigns.
NEWS
September 27, 2011 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The political corruption case known as "Computergate" is about one thing, state prosecutors argued Monday: the use of taxpayer money in the quest for power and GOP domination of the House of Representatives. Attorneys for the three remaining defendants in the case, however, countered that it was just one man's quest - a man who is no longer seated at the defense table but who manipulated all the political strings: former House Speaker John M. Perzel. So began opening arguments in the state attorney general's second political corruption case, this one alleging that millions in taxpayer dollars were used by onetime members of the House Republican caucus to further political campaigns.
NEWS
November 9, 1999 | By Rena Singer, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
House Republican leaders announced yesterday that they would bring legislation to the floor for a vote today that would require all handguns to be sold with locks. Their legislation, however, does not apply to shotguns or rifles and would not require an owner to keep the lock on a gun after bringing the weapon home. "This is a reasoned, rational approach to gun control," said Brian Preski chief counsel for the House Judiciary Committee. "It is not everything either side wants.
NEWS
October 5, 2011 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Brian Preski, one-time chief of staff to former state House Speaker John M. Perzel, interrupted his trial in the political corruption case known as "Computergate" this morning to plead guilty to 10 counts. Among the charges to which Preski entered guilty pleas were two counts of theft and 3 counts of conflict of interest. His former boss, Perzel, once the most powerful Republican in Philadelphia, previously pleaded guilty in the case. Two of Preski's codefendants, including former State Rep. Brett Feese of Lycoming, remain on trial.
NEWS
May 27, 2010 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - In 2004, Rep. John Perzel and several of his House Republican staffers traveled to Houston to meet with representatives of a computer company - and took a side trip to the Super Bowl. Taxpayers ended up paying for part of it. That is what Anthony Painter, the House GOP's former information technology director, testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing for Perzel and nine others charged by the state Attorney General's Office with misusing public money for campaign purposes.
NEWS
September 29, 2011 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A onetime campaign aide to then-House Speaker John Perzel testified Tuesday that state-paid technology staffers, computer software, and equipment were routinely used to fuel Perzel's reelection campaigns over a decade. In fact, Don McClintock told a Dauphin County jury, the relationship between Perzel's campaign office and members of the House Republican caucus' technology office was so cozy that it seemed as if everyone was on the same team. "Perzel viewed technology as the future of elections," McClintock testified.
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NEWS
March 22, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
HARRISBURG - Former state House Speaker John Perzel was ordered Wednesday to serve a 2 1/2-to five-year prison term and pay $1 million in restitution for being the architect of a scheme to help Republicans win elections through the illegal use of taxpayer-financed technology and employees. The 62-year-old ex-lawmaker from Northeast Philadelphia looked tense but displayed no emotion as Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis imposed the sentence, which also includes $30,000 in fines and five years' probation.
NEWS
March 22, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The mastermind of a scheme to steal millions in taxpayer money for his own political benefit stood in a courtroom Wednesday and, in a low voice stripped of its old bravado, offered an apology. "I have embarrassed myself, my family, my friends, and the people of Pennsylvania, and for that, I am truly sorry," a grim John M. Perzel said moments before being sentenced for his role in the so-called Computergate case. "They gave me a great honor, and I disgraced them," he added, "and I'm very sorry for it. " His apology was not enough.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Three former aides to onetime Republican powerhouse John M. Perzel will not be going to prison for their involvement in the political corruption case known as Computergate. Paul Towhey, Samuel "Buzz" Stokes, and Don McClintock were sentenced Tuesday to 30 to 60 months' probation, with fines of $2,500 to $5,000, for their roles in a conspiracy to use expensive, taxpayer-funded computer programs and equipment for political campaigns. The three defendants pleaded guilty in the case last year with four other defendants, including Perzel, once the top Republican in the House, and Perzel's former chief of staff, Brian Preski.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Former House Speaker John M. Perzel was sentenced to 2-1/2 to 5 years in prison today for his role as mastermind of the so-called "Computergate" scheme to use taxpayer-paid computer programs to win political campaigns. In sentencing Perzel, Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis called the former Republican legislator's conduct a "shocking and flagrant violation of the public trust" that sacrificed "legitimate legislative work. " A grim-faced Perzel said nothing as he left the courthouse.
NEWS
March 20, 2012 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Seven defendants in the so-called "Computergate" corruption case, including onetime Philadelphia Republican powerhouse John M. Perzel, are scheduled to be sentenced in Dauphin County Court Tuesday and Wednesday. Perzel and six former legislative and campaign aides pleaded guilty last year, with most agreeing to cooperate in the state Attorney General's Office probe. Prosecutors had initially charged 10 people with participating in a scheme to use sophisticated, state-funded computer programs for campaign purposes.
NEWS
November 1, 2011 | By Peter Jackson, Associated Press
HARRISBURG - Jurors in Pennsylvania's government corruption trial heard closing arguments from the defense Monday, but the prosecution's presentation was cut short. Lawyers for Brett Feese and Jill Seaman spent most of the day on their summations in Dauphin County Court. Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina addressed the jury only briefly late in the afternoon and will make the rest of his argument Tuesday. Feese, a former state representative who chaired the House Republican Campaign Committee, and Seaman, his former aide, are the first Republicans to be tried in a case focused on an alleged scheme to illegally spend millions of public dollars on campaign activities.
NEWS
October 27, 2011 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - If there was any doubt that the specter of a four-year political corruption probe still hangs heavy over the General Assembly, it was quashed Wednesday when the reigning House speaker spent the first part of his busy day on the witness stand. Just an hour after Sam Smith (R., Jefferson) left the Dauphin County courtroom where jurors are hearing testimony in the so-called Computergate trial, he was back at the Capitol, presiding over legislative action. On the stand for about an hour, Smith said he was unaware that taxpayer money had been used illegally by the House GOP caucus - to finance a campaign database - until after then-Attorney General Tom Corbett launched his probe into legislative misappropriation of funds.
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