Rendell: I'd Appeal Fumo's Sentence

Pa. governor was a former prosecutor

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Thursday, Jul 16, 2009  |  Updated 1:41 AM EDT
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Rendell: I'd Appeal Fumo's Sentence

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Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell asked a judge to be lenient in the sentencing of Vince Fumo.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was one of many people who wrote a letter to U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter asking for him to be lenient on former Pa. State Senator Vince Fumo.

But the former prosecutor turned governor also said he'd most certainly appeal the judge's decision if he argued the case.

Fumo was sentenced to 55 months in prison Tuesday for misusing millions from the state and two non-profit organizations. He was also fined more than $2 million.

The sentence shocked prosecutors who set the minimum sentencing guidelines at 10 years or more in prison. Citing Fumo's years of public service, U.S. Judge Buckwalter deviated from those guidelines.

"The guidelines call for assessing the good works a person does," said Rendell. He believes the sentence is enough to serve as a "deterrent."

Fumo sobbed in court while making a statement before sentencing. "I made mistakes in my life. I've lived with this torment for years…maybe I should not have asked my staff to do what they did," said Fumo.

The former politican must surrender by August 31 to begin serving his sentence.

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