Fumo out of hospital, back in court

January 26, 2009 3:44:50 PM PST
Former State Senator Vince Fumo was wheeled out of this courthouse last Thursday on a stretcher after a dizzy spell. Monday he was back on his feet, ready to begin his defense.

David Henry asked, "How is your health?"

Fumo replied, "Uh okay, I mean we're back."

Henry asked, "I mean this has been a long drawn out trial for you, I mean is it wearing you down?"

"I think it would wear anybody down," Fumo said.

It has been an exhausting 14 weeks of damaging testimony. The government finally rested its case and the defense was eager to get started.

Their first witness was former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor. He was there to discredit prosecution witness Christian Marrone, Fumo's former son-in-law. Marrone used to work in Fumo's state senate office. But he testified he spent most of his time on the state clock overseeing renovations to Fumo's mansion. Marrone also worked as an assistant D.A. for Castor back in 2003 when Castor was running for state Attorney general.

Defense asked, "It appeared to us that you were using county email, to work on campaign related matters, do you recall that?"

Castor replied via court audiotapes, "Yes."

Defense asked, "And what did you tell us in response to that?"

Castor replied via court audiotapes, "Yes."

Defense asked, " My exact words were I should probably not have done that."

Castor said he fired Marrone because he was a sneak, who ended up working for his political opponent. But, Castor appeared red faced on the stand as the prosecutor produced numerous emails between himself and Marrone.

Castor apparently used Marrone the same way Fumo did. In a testy cross examination, Castor admitted that Marrone did political work for him on county time.

Henry asked Castor, "You saw nothing wrong?"

"Well I mean if these guys are getting their job done nights weekends holidays I well that's all I cared about," Castor replied.

Ironically, it's the same argument Fumo is using to defend himself. That his Senate employees were so loyal they ran his personal errands at all hours, but still managed to get their state work done.

Outside court, Fumo was tight-lipped about the rest of his defense, that he was entitled to a share of the money he brought in to a South Philadelphia charity.

"No I can't comment on the case my lawyer day one said that. I'm not going to, I'm going to listen to my lawyer," Fumo said.

Henry asked, "You felt entitled to that money."

Fumo said, "I said I'm going to listen to my lawyer."

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