Bonusgate Guilty Pleas

AG: 3 Republicans with ties to ex-state Rep. Perzel to plead guilty in Pa. probe

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011  |  Updated 1:06 PM EDT
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Bonusgate Guilty Pleas

NBCPhiladelphia.com

Three with ties to Former Pa. state House speaker John Perzel to plead guilty to Bonusgate charges.

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Three of the 10 Republicans charged in Pennsylvania's legislative corruption case, known as Bonusgate, are expected to plead guilty in exchange for their cooperation in prosecuting the other defendants.

The state attorney general's office said Tuesday that Samuel “Buzz” Stokes, a House employee and brother-in-law of former House Speaker John Perzel, and Don McClintock, a Perzel campaign aide, plan to enter their pleas before a Dauphin County judge on Wednesday.

Officials say Paul Towhey, Perzel's former chief of staff, is expected to plead guilty before the same judge Friday.

Each of three was originally charged with at least two dozen counts of conflict of interest, theft and conspiracy.

Attorney General's office spokesman Nils Frederiksen says each of the pleas will include felonies.

Perzel and former Rep. Brett Feese are among the remaining defendants who are scheduled to go on trial on Sept. 6.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Saturday that former House Speaker Perzel, 61, has been collecting his state pension while awaiting trial. According to documents obtained under the Right-to-Know Law, he took a lump sum payment close to $204,000 and his gross monthly payments is over $7,000.

The report cited state pension officials who said Perzel will be able to keep the money regardless of the outcome of the trial.

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