Tracie Mauriello has the breaking news on the long-awaited verdict in the Bonusgate trial of former Rep. Mike Veon and three of his former associates.
It’s mixed. Mr. Veon, the former legislative mastermind of the House Democratic caucus, was convicted of 14 of 59 counts, including several felony charges.
Former caucus director of information Stephen Keefer, however, was acquitted of all 16 counts.
Mr. Vein’s former office manager Annemarie Perretta-Rosepink, 47, of Beaver Falls, was convicted of five of 22 counts, and former research analyst Brett Cott, 37, of Harrisburg was convicted of three of the 42 criminal charges filed against him.
At the center of the case are allegations that Mr. Veon and his co-defendants schemed to award more than $1.4 million in publicly funded bonuses to state workers in exchange for work on campaigns. They were also are charged with directing staff to do political work on state time, in state buildings and on state equipment.
The verdict came after six weeks of testimony and seven days of deliberation that sometimes turned so contentious that it brought jurors to tears.Here’s a timeline, with Post-Gazette coverage of the lengthy trial and the legal maneuvering that preceded it.
Of course the trial is the latest chapter in a much longer story, one that’s informed by the political cultures of Beaver County, Harrisburg and Pennsylvania. The Post-Gazette’s Dennis Roddy was among Mr. Veon's former constituents last night.
“In one of the few places still open and running in Beaver Falls,’’ he found, “Mike Veon’s old neighbors drank some beer, smoked a few cigarette and expressed absolutely no surprise.’’
The sentencing is still to be determined as are other consequences _ for these and future defendants as well as for Attorney General Tom Corbett whose reputation and campaign for governor rest on the political perception of the longstanding investigation.