Pa. ex-speaker John Perzel to plead guilty

HARRISBURG, Pa. - August 30, 2011

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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