Pa. ex-speaker John Perzel to plead guilty

Former Pennsylvania House Speaker John Perzel R-Philadelphia, is escorted by law enforcement to hearing in Harrisburg, Pa., Thursday, Nov. 13, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

August 30, 2011 9:40:46 AM PDT
Former Pennsylvania House Speaker John Perzel, of Philadelphia, plans to plead guilty in a state corruption case.

Action News has confirmed with sources that Perzel is scheduled to change his plea from innocent to guilty at a hearing in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

Prosecutors have described the Philadelphia Republican as the architect of a scheme to illegally use millions of dollars' worth of taxpayer-financed computer technology to gain an edge in political campaigns.

The 61-year-old Perzel faces 82 counts that include theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest.

Eric Ruth, a former House GOP technology office employee, is also scheduled to plead guilty. Ruth's lawyer says his pleas will be to conspiracy and conflict of interest.


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