Fmr. Senator Vince Fumo Gets 6 More Months in Prison

The judge said Fumo's crimes were arrogant and driven by greed, but the government brought too many counts against him.

Former Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo will spend an additional six months in federal prison and when he gets out, for the next three years, he'll have to spend ten hours a week doing community service.

Fumo was resentenced on Thursday afternoon after telling the judge that while there is a need for stronger ethics, his behavior was really a reflection of  "a pervasive attitude'' in the state senate. The long-powerful Philadelphia Democrat admitted he used his staff for personal and political chores, but said his senate colleagues did too.

Fumo misused millions of taxpayer dollars and was convicted of 137 counts in his corruption case. He was originally sentenced to 4-1/2 years and has served half of that time. Prosecutors appealed the original sentence, asking for a much longer term, based on the government's sentencing guidelines.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter said to keep the 68-year-old Fumo behind bars for 15 years, like the prosecution requested, would be a death sentence. Judge Buckwalter said the even harsher sentencing guidelines of 17-and-a-half to 22 years were "completely unfitting."

The judge said Fumo's crimes were "arrogant," driven by greed and "indeed serious." But before announcing his resentencing decision, Buckwalter said the government brought too many counts against Fumo and that not one of them involved bribery or extortion.

Judge Buckwalter said there was no evidence that Fumo had reformed in prison, but that he is not a threat to society.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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