Hours after a jury convicted him of theft and criminal conspiracy, state Rep. Bill DeWeese was back in the Capitol, shaking hands and shouting greetings.
The Democratic representative from Waynesburg, once a House speaker, greeted fellow lawmakers in a hallway where a committee meeting had just adjourned. He called out an apology for missing the session: "Sorry, I was just on the steps when the meeting concluded."
As he had outside the courtroom this morning, DeWeese maintained he would continue to serve as a member of the House while pursuing re-election. He noted to reporters that he previously had won re-election "under tumultuous circumstances," both in 2008, after his name had been tied to the investigation of House Democratic caucus staffers receiving bonuses for political work, and in 2010, after his indictment.
"So the court of public opinion in those faraway and honorable townships and boroughs sanctioned my public duties in these sessions," DeWeese said. "And until the official jurisdictions limit my ability to serve, I shall hopefully maintain perfect attendance and a positive attitude. I'll conduct myself as an officer and a gentleman."
Asked if he had any concern that the convictions would limit his effectiveness, DeWeese responded: "None."