Monday, March 16, 2009

E-mail May Tie Bill DeWeese To Bonusgate Scandal

My sources at the AG's office has told me for some time that the problem with Bonusgate is the volume of emails that need to be read. Overtime has not been a problem when it comes to Bonusgate.

So it is not a surprise that it is taking time for information to surface like what is contained in this article. Brad Bumstead of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote the story today. Psst. Try reading 25,000 emails.

An e-mail provided to defense attorneys in the so-called Bonusgate case might contradict former House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese's longstanding claim that he knew nothing about state-paid bonuses for campaign work.

In December 2004, an e-mail written by legislative research analyst Karen Steiner thanked DeWeese, D-Greene County, and then-House Democratic Whip Mike Veon of Beaver Falls for a "bonus for campaigning." DeWeese responded with "U R welcome," copies of the exchange obtained by the Tribune-Review show.

Prosecutors provided the e-mail to defense attorney Bryan Walk, who represents former House Democrat staffer Brett Cott on charges of theft and conflict of interest.

The e-mail is among 25,000 Walk has received from Attorney General Tom Corbett's office, which is prosecuting the case.

"It's my understanding that other defense attorneys also received this information," Cott said Sunday night.

A spokesman said DeWeese did not recall the e-mail.

"Given the volume of e-mail that comes to him and given that some of it is handled by staff, Bill does not recall this e-mail," said spokesman Tom Andrews. "At the time responding kindly to one of many 'thank yous' for Christmas bonuses would have been a routine matter."

Andrews said there was "overwhelming evidence" in the information provided to prosecutors that DeWeese didn't know about the bonuses. He has not been charged with wrongdoing.

No comments: