Reaction to Fumo's conviction

March 16, 2009 1:42:53 PM PDT
Action News has been gathering reaction to Monday's conviction of former State Senator Vince Fumo.Fumo was convicted Monday of corruption for schemes that defrauded the state Senate and others of more than $3.5 million and helped pay for his lavish lifestyle.

The 65-year-old former state senator was found guilty of all 137 counts against him, which also included obstruction of justice for destroying e-mail evidence.

RELATED ARTICLE: Fumo found guilty of 137 counts against him.

The following officials and political anaylsts responded with the following statements after Fumo's conviction:

Patrick Meehan
Former U.S. Attorney General

"Just as I said two years ago when my office brought the charges against Senator Fumo, there is no joy in today's verdict. While it is my hope that today's decision will begin to reverse the corrupt behavior we have seen for far too long, sadly much of the damage has already been done. Also as I said then, my hope is that from today's verdict will emerge a new commitment of transparency, honesty and ethics from those who seek to serve the public."

U.S. Senator Bob Casey

"Vince Fumo was a strong voice for the City of Philadelphia for 30 years. As the jury's verdict makes clear, however, no public official is above the law."

Sen. President ProTempore Joe Scarnati & Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi:
Joint Statement outlining changes to Pa Statutes that were used by former Senator Vince Fumo:

We also eliminated all bonus payments, eliminated private automobile leases, instituted a co-pay on health insurance for members and staff, eliminated per diems for members living within 50 miles of the Capitol, and prohibited the use of Senate funds for robo-calls. This case showed that there were holes in the system which could be exploited by a member willing to do so. We are determined to close those holes, and we have made significant progress in that effort. We will continue to push forward.

Former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies
(D-Montgomery County)

It saddens me that such a talented and bright politician (who shaped the political landscape for decades) might be remembered for what he did wrong rather than the many things that he did right. Two families have been destroyed. Philadelphia has lost a powerful voice in the State capitol. But in the end it appears as if justice has run it's course.

Honorable Nelson Diaz
Former Philadelphia Judge and Attorney:

Vince' case proves the axiom that power corrupt absolutely and politicians need to learn from this conviction. Can't let power of politics go to one's head and believe one can be above the law. No matter how well you deliver to your constituents ethics must override all aspects in dealing with public life and public issues.

Terry Madonna
Political Pollster with The Keystone Poll:

The sad point here is how Fumo could do so much good for Philadelphia and the state, but yet be that consumed by the thirst for power, along with hubris, and a sense of entitlement. There have been few legislators in modern history with his raw talent and sheer brilliance, but who in the end completely lost any sense of perspective--or maybe better put of right and wrong.

Jerry Pappert
Former Pa Attorney General:

Today's convictions are a disappointing reminder that public servants can sometimes forget the reasons for which they were elected. They are at the same time a welcome reminder that our justice system is there to appropriately punish those who violate the public trust. Former United States Attorney Pat Meehan deserves the thanks of the citizens in our region and our Commonwealth for bringing these charges.

Ajay Raju
Attorney and Head of the Global Indian Chamber of Commerce:

Vince Fumo has shown himself to be a truly tragic figure in the history of Pennsylvania politics. For both good and ill, Fumo played a critical role in shaping the fortunes of our region and state. His conviction today on 137 corruption charges underscores the seemingly inseparable relationship between power and the great potential for its abuse.

Renee Amoore
GOP State Official

Unfortunately, it was not a win-win for anybody. It was a difficult process, but a learning one for all parties involved. Hopefully, in the future, nothing like this will happen again.

Farah Jiminez
Director of the Mt.Airy USA Non-profit:

At some point during his 30 years of servant leadership in the Pennsylvania State Senate, Vince Fumo lost his moral compass. Today a Federal jury found that he misappropriated the public trust and its money. Already a wealthy man, Fumo didn't need the money. Already regarded a man of good works throughout his district, Fumo didn't need it for the ego. Why he did it, we may never know. What we do know is that he'll now have some time in Federal prison to see if he can find that lost moral compass.

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