Keep the Mansion, Vince

Vince Fumo gets to keep his city digs, even though he probably won't live there much longer.

Convicted former state Sen. Vincent Fumo gets to keep his 27-room Philly mansion (which looks more like a fortress), even though he may not be living there much longer.

After Fumo's conviction on all 137 federal corruption charges, prosecutors asked to seize Fumo's key properties to help recoup $4 million in alleged proceeds from his crimes.

But Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter ruled Thursday the government has no right to take Fumo's real estate because it never proved those assets were directly connected to his crimes.

Fumo bought his Spring Garden mansion in 1994 for $174,000. When he was done renovating, the converted convent had a six-floor elevator, seven fireplaces, three kitchens, a whirlpool bath, a custom-built vault, a billiard room, a wine cellar, a shooting range, gas lamps and heated sidewalks, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

And with all that, for years, Fumo averted or fought off attempts to raise taxes on his property. Even when he put it on the market for $7 million, the powerful democrat was insisting his 12,000 square feet of opulence was only worth $250,000.

Fumo, who is free on bail, has at least a few more weeks to live it up on Greene Street. In mid-July he'll be sentenced. Prosecutors want him sent to prison for at least 10 years, which means he'd get to live full time on OPM, the acronym he so fondly used whenever taxpayers picked up the tab for Vince living large.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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