Pa. State Rep. John Perzel Charged, Called Mastermind of Illegal Scheme
by KYW's Tony Romeo
The Pennsylvania attorney general has announced criminal charges against ten people tied to the Republican Party in Harrisburg -- including state representative John Perzel of Philadelphia (above) -- in connection with an alleged scheme to have campaign work performed at taxpayer expense.
State attorney general Tom Corbett has been probing whether legislative staffers were given pay bonuses in exchange for doing political work -- a violation of state law. In July of 2008, twelve Democrats were charged in connection with the probe that became known as "Bonusgate."
The new charges, now against Republicans, revolve around the use of taxpayer money to purchase voter data, computer software, and services to buttress House GOP campaign efforts, and efforts to cover it up, Corbett said.
Top among the ten Republicans now being charged is Perzel, who served as Pennsylvania House speaker from 2003 to 2007 and still serves as a state representative from Philadelphia; and former representative Brett Feese of Williamsport, Pa. (right), who until recently was chief counsel for the House Republican Caucus.
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