February 16, 2016
AS A RULE I try not to write anything about convicted politicians that anyone could construe as positive. That's because I spend lots of time writing about politicians in ways nobody could construe as positive. But today I offer a onetime special, a diversion, a break from the gloom of politics and the cold of winter, a little tale of Bill DeWeese at a warm and fun-drenched fantasy camp. You may recall DeWeese: Democrat from far-southwest Greene County, 36 years a lawmaker, jailed as a lawbreaker.
December 3, 2015 |
IT WAS LATE 2009. Then-state Rep. Bill DeWeese sat in a conference room at the Attorney General's Office in Harrisburg filled with investigators and prosecutors. Frank Fina, a lead prosecutor on a series of political-corruption scandals that would rock Harrisburg and ultimately would send DeWeese to prison, had breasts on his mind. Fina asked DeWeese whether he knew that one of his legislative staffers had used an illegal $5,000 bonus to get a " 'tit job,' " according to DeWeese, a Democrat who served as House speaker and majority whip.
March 30, 2014 |
HUNLOCK CREEK, Pa. - As state House speaker and Democratic leader, Bill DeWeese held forth many nights at Harrisburg's priciest restaurants, dining on prime rib and fine wine on a lobbyist's dime. On a recent afternoon, in a prison 120 miles from the Capitol, DeWeese carefully peeled a handful of spinach leaves from a container, savoring every bite. "I never get salad here," said DeWeese, now inmate KK-1888. Until his downfall in a 2012 corruption case, DeWeese was among the Capitol's most colorful characters and power brokers.
February 27, 2014 |
Former Pennsylvania House Speaker John M. Perzel, the Northeast Philadelphia legislator sent to prison for public corruption, is set to be paroled this week, earlier than his minimum sentence. Another former House speaker, H. William DeWeese, also sent to prison for his role in a separate corruption scandal, is scheduled for parole next month earlier than his minimum sentence. Perzel, 64, and DeWeese, 63, were eligible for reduced sentences under a program for nonviolent inmates who stay out of trouble while behind bars, said Sherry Tate, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
August 13, 2013
HUNLOCK CREEK, Pa. - Sixty-three-year-old Bill DeWeese works out with Muslims from Philadelphia. "They're fired up and focused and extremely fit," he says. "I have a very intense workout schedule," he adds, including weight training, playing on a softball team and taking a "fitness-over-40" class three times a week. This is courtesy of taxpayers. It takes place in Retreat state prison, an old and isolated medium-security facility along the Susquehanna River behind fences and seven rows of razor wire just southwest of Wilkes-Barre.
December 19, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Former State Rep. Bill DeWeese appealed his corruption conviction Tuesday, alleging judicial errors and prosecutorial misconduct. In the appeal, filed in Superior Court, DeWeese (D., Greene) contended that the trial judge erred by limiting the number of defense witnesses who testified and refusing to let his lawyer challenge a prosecution witness' credibility. He also said prosecutors committed misconduct at his preliminary hearing by selectively reading parts of his grand jury testimony.
August 24, 2012
HARRISBURG - A Dauphin County Court judge on Thursday rejected former State Rep. Bill DeWeese's bid for a new trial on corruption charges. Todd Hoover's ruling clears the way for DeWeese's lawyers to appeal his conviction to Superior Court. The judge defended several trial rulings that DeWeese cited as justification for a new trial. He also turned down a motion to modify DeWeese's 21/2- to five-year prison sentence. DeWeese, 62, a Greene County Democrat, is incarcerated at Retreat state prison near Wilkes-Barre.
August 19, 2012 |
RICES LANDING, Pa. - Pennsylvania Democrats have chosen a Southwestern Pennsylvania county commissioner to run for the state House seat that former Speaker Bill DeWeese vacated after his corruption conviction. The Democratic State Committee on Saturday chose Greene County Commissioner Pam Snyder to run in November for the 50th District House seat representing Greene, Fayette, and Washington Counties. Snyder, 56, a commissioner for nine years, was the unanimous choice of committee members meeting Saturday in Rices Landing, in the northeast corner of Greene County.
August 12, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Former Pennsylvania House Speaker Bill DeWeese is ineligible to run for reelection in his old district because he is serving a prison sentence for public corruption convictions, a state judge ruled late Friday. Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said that DeWeese may not appear on the November ballot and that the Democratic Party was free to replace him. State party officials sought the ruling so that they could find someone to oppose Republican candidate Mark Fischer in November for the southwestern Pennsylvania seat.
August 9, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Democratic Party told a state judge Wednesday that former House Speaker Bill DeWeese should be removed from the fall ballot so it can replace him with a candidate eligible to serve. The case before Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley arose after DeWeese, also a longtime Democratic floor leader, was sentenced to state prison on corruption charges in April on the same day that primary voters in his southwestern Pennsylvania district renominated him for another term.