"He really looked like he'd taken a punch to the gut," said Tony Hanson on KYW radio.
Rubin is the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Mitchell will take an unpaid leave of absence, effective immediately, from his post, he informed Gov. Ed Rendell on Saturday.
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He is also the husband of Ruth Arnao, who was convicted on Monday along with her boss, Vince Fumo -- each was found guilty of every single count against them, 45 for Arnao and 137 for Fumo.
On Thursday, Fumo and Arnao were back in court as the U.S. Attorney's office moved to have assets seized to pay restitution.
During that hearing, an FBI agent approached Rubin and handed him a letter. Neither side would confirm the contents, but Rubin appeared stunned, looked at the letter and nearly collapsed on the court bench, according to Hanson.
One Fumo count involved what prosecutors called Rubin's $30,000-a-year, no-work Senate contract.
Rubin handed the letter to his wife's defense attorney, Edwin Jacobs.
Within hours, there was a call for Rubin to step down. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said if Rubin can't give an adequate explanation, then he should resign immediately and return the $30,000 from the consulting job to the state, according to WGAL
Jacobs said he expects that others may get target letters based on the trial evidence.
Fumo could get up to 20 years in prison for defrauding the senate, a nonprofit and a museum. His sentencing is set for July 13, 2009.