Fumo to Be Indicted?

covervincefumo.jpgAccording to the Philadelphia Inquirer, State Senator Vice Fum will likely be indicted this week on political corruption charges. This isn’t Senator Fumo’s forst scrape with the law – he has been indicted several times before but has always beaten the charges. I don’t have a view one way or the other as to the merits of these charges, but there are a couple of elements of the defense that Fumo has offered publicly that, if I thought anyone was listening, I would advise him to abandon.

First, in response to the charge that Fumo aides would drive SUV’s owned by a Fumo-affiliated charity to Martha’s Vineyard for the (State) Senator’s use while on vacation, Fumo’s lawyer, Dick Sprague (I thought he was dead. I looked it up. He’s not …) said thatFumo’s Senate staff would drive office equipment to him – “computers, fax machines, etc.”

“Sen. Fumo has long had the reputation as a tireless public servant whose efforts on behalf of Pennsylvania are not compressed into a 9-to-5, Monday through Friday schedule,” Sprague wrote. “To the contrary, Sen. Fumo and his staff work 24/7 at the job of being the most effective Senate office in the commonwealth.”

Dick Sprague is a smart guy and a good lawyer. I don’t expect that he’s dumb enough to buy into the theory that being a Pennsylvania State Senator – even one with Vince Fumo’s awesome responsibilities – is a “24/7 job.” It isn’t. everyone knows that. The Genral Assembly only sits half the year. Don’t try and convince me that Fumo had to use funds or assets belonging to this charity for political purposes because he works around the clock. No one will believe it. At least they shouldn;t.

Second, addressing the ongoing investigation into whether Fumo and his aides obstructed justice by destroying enails in an effort to hinder the investigation, some unnamed source offers the following:

before the investigation began, office policy required employees to delete old e-mail on a regular basis.

Except that “office policy” doesn’t give anyone – even Vince Fumo – a dispensation to destroy evidence while ann investigation is ongoing. That’s called obstruction, office policy or no.

So, while I am typically skeptical when it comes to federal investigations, if I had to wager, I’d bet on Fumo being indicted and convicted. Even cats run out of lives eventually.


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