Ex-Fumo aide charged in Senate fraud

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Vince Fumo is seen arriving at prison &#40;The Philadelphia Inquirer&#47;Laurence Kesterson&#41; (The Philadelphia Inquirer&#47;Laurence Kesterson)</span></div>
May 25, 2011 7:09:03 AM PDT
A close friend and former aide to convicted Pennsylvania lawmaker Vincent Fumo is charged with taking $287,000 for no-work Senate contracts. U.S. Prosecutors say Fumo steered the money to S. Michael Palermo in exchange for favors and friendship.

Witnesses at Fumo's corruption trial said Palermo helped run Fumo's farm near Harrisburg.

Palermo was charged with mail fraud Wednesday in a federal information. Defense lawyer Robert Scandone did not immediately return a message.

Palermo once served as chief of staff at Fumo's district office in Philadelphia. The powerful Democrat awarded him annual consulting contracts from 1999 to 2003. Authorities can find no evidence Palermo did any work.

Fumo is serving a four-year prison term in Kentucky.

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