Fumo prosecution continues closing

February 25, 2009 4:30:13 PM PST
The corruption trial of former State Senator Vincent Fumo is nearing an end.Vince Fumo looked increasingly worried as this massive corruption case moves closer to jury deliberations.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Robert Zauzmer once again took the jury to what he calls "Fumoworld," a place where the 30 year Harrisburg veteran used taxpayers money to underwrite his political scheming and personal passions.

The government says thousands of dollars went to private-eye Frank Wallace to shadow Fumo's ex-girlfriend Dottie Avery as she bar-hopped at the Jersey shore.

"They wanted to catch her driving drunk and call the police and have the police arrest her," Zauzmer said in court.

For nearly a decade, Fumo gave state funded contracts to his chief political operative Howard Caine, who flipped and testified against Fumo, saying he did no work for taxpayers.

"Mr. Caine told you there is only one file that doesn't relate to political races on his computer. This is the senate computer that he was given," Zauzmer said to the jury. "This was everything that he was doing."

Then, Zauzmer launched into Citizen's Alliance, the non-profit charity Fumo created. Fumo is charged, along with an aide, Ruth Arnao, with defrauding it to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, buying himself tools, a vacuum cleaner, farm equipment and galaxy of other personal consumer goods.

"You may not remember the old TV show where they had a contest where they'd give someone a cart to go running through the store and you had 15 minutes to get as much as you could put in the cart was yours. They'd get to the checkout counter and swipe the Citizen's Alliance credit card. Is that how you compensate someone? Or is that how you steal?" Zauzmer said.

The prosecution will continue closing arguments Wednesday morning.

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