Fumo suffers heart attack

March 2, 2008 8:56:14 PM PST
Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack, officials said.

Fumo was taken to Hahnemann Univeristy Hospital around 7:00 Sunday night. He was diagnosed as having had a heart attack, a spokesman said.

Fumo was having dinner at home, where he has been since he had back surgery Feb. 19, when he had chest pains and shortness of breath, spokesman Gary Tuma said.

Doctors said he had a myocardial infarction and 100 percent blockage of the right coronary artery, Tuma said.

Fumo also suffered a heart attack in 1977.

Fumo is in a four-way race for reelection to his first senatorial district seat.

He also faces federal trial later this year. Fumo, 64, was indicted last February, accused of using state workers and a nonprofit group to carry out his personal and political agendas, defrauding taxpayers and others of more than $2 million.

Fumo regularly deployed state workers to perform a litany of personal chores, from overseeing construction at his 33-room Philadelphia mansion to spying on his ex-wife to working his 100-acre farm near Harrisburg, prosecutors charged.

Fumo, one of the most powerful figures in Pennsylvania politics, misused $1 million in state resources and another $1 million from the nonprofit neighborhood group he controlled, U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said when the indictment was announced.

The 267-page indictment came more than four years after federal authorities began investigating the Citizens' Alliance, a group started by Fumo aides in 1991 to serve the South Philadelphia community where he grew up.

Fumo, anticipating the indictment, temporarily stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee but remains in the Senate. The Philadelphia lawmaker, who has beaten two previous indictments, vowed to again clear his name.

Fumo has represented the first state senatorial district in Harrisburg since 1978.

Prior to his election to the state Senate, he held several staff positions in Harrisburg in the 1970s. He was chief counsel to the Committee on Professional Licensure of the state House of Representatives, chief counsel to the special committee of the state Senate investigating Farview State Hospital for the criminally insane, and deputy commissioner and later commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs of the Pennsylvania Department of State.

He began his professional career as a biology and current events teacher at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia.

Fumo was born in South Philadelphia, the son of Vincent E. and Helen Rodgers Fumo. He attended elementary school at the Academy of Notre Dame and high school at St. Joseph's Prep. He then went to Villanova, earning a degree in biology. In addition to his advanced degrees in law and business, he has done post graduate work at St. Joseph College in accounting, political science and education.

Fumo is the single parent of three children.


Senator Vincent Fumo, http://www.fumo.com