Fumo denied bail for appeal

August 20, 2009 6:36:00 PM PDT
A federal judge says there's no reason that a need for medical detoxification should delay a former power broker in the Pennsylvania Legislature from starting his prison sentence as scheduled. A day after former state Sen. Vincent Fumo and his fiancee threw a large engagement party, U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter ruled Thursday that Fumo must report to prison by Aug. 31. Lawyers for the Philadelphia Democrat had filed court papers Monday asking that Fumo remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction.

Buckwalter says there was plenty of time for Fumo to get detoxification done between his July 14 sentencing and his prison reporting date. He also says Fumo's health issues can be handled in the prison system.

Fumo was convicted this year of defrauding the state Senate, a South Philadelphia nonprofit and a seaport museum of millions of dollars. He was sentenced to four years and seven months in prison. Prosecutors sought 15 years and are seeking to appeal the sentence.