Fumo and friends throw party

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - August 19, 2009 There was a flurry of commotion when the former senator and his fiancee Caroyln Zinni arrived.

"It's a celebration of our engagement and we're turning a page in the book and starting a new chapter. What I have ahead of me doesn't make me happy, but it's something we're prepared to live with and go forward and just get on with our lives," Fumo said.

Some 350 people had received invitations which proclaimed that "at the end of every storm, there are calm seas. Please join us as we celebrate our wedding engagement." The invitation said, "and to share well wishes for Vince." "No Gifts please," the invitation noted.

There were politicos and others from across the Pennsylvania landscape, including Nelson Diaz, who served as General Counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs under Bill Clinton; Council President Anna Verna; longtime political ally Councilman Frank DiCicco, who also served as a bit of a matchmaker for the former senator and his fiancee.

Fumo had been convicted by a federal jury of defrauding the state senate and a pair of nonprofits of at least $2-million and of trying to obstruct the investigation.

A judge sentenced him to 55 months in prison, a sentence denounced by prosecutors and others as too lenient.

"I'd like those people to come join me for half of my time and then get their assessment," Fumo said.

Both sides are expected to appeal.

Meantime, it was notable who wasn't at the party. Longtime friend and political ally Governor Ed Rendell wasn't there, but David L. Cohen was. Cohen was Rendell's chief of staff when he was mayor of Philadelphia. Cohen is now Executive Vice President for Comcast.

The former Senator tonight spoke of friends who stuck with him all the way.

"There are very many people that refused to throw me under the bus, in fact, very few people did," Fumo said.

Fumo is fighting to delay the start of his prison term at the end of the month pending his appeal, but the US Attorney's Office is expected to file motions opposing any delays.

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