Monday, April 6, 2009

More Bad News For Bill DeWeese

On March 16, 2009 I wrote this post E-mail May Tie Bill DeWeese To Bonusgate Scandal. Prosecutors provided e-mails(as part of discovery) to defense attorney Bryan Walk, who represents former House Democrat staffer Brett Cott on charges of theft and conflict of interest. (Do we call the first twelve indicted "The Dirty Dozen"?) Back to the story.

It appears Walk had time to review the emails and is now leaking them to the press. Mario F. Cattabiani and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers, authored a piece, Bonusgate records contradict DeWeese in the Philadelphia Inquirer today.

Since the Bonusgate corruption probe was launched two years ago, Rep. Bill DeWeese has adamantly and repeatedly denied knowing that taxpayer money secretly had been used to underwrite political campaigns.

But records turned over to defendants in the case by Attorney General Tom Corbett appear to paint a different picture of the onetime House Democratic leader, who has not been charged in the ongoing investigation.

Documents show that in 2006, facing a stiff challenge in an election that DeWeese nearly lost, his campaign tapped a state-paid computer consultant - a key figure in the Bonusgate probe - to perform a long list of political tasks.

Among other duties, that consultant crafted fund-raising invitations and sent out blast e-mails to constituents in DeWeese's district in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.

The documents, provided to The Inquirer by a defendant, also indicate that the Greene County Democrat exchanged campaign-related messages with his legislative staffers on state e-mail accounts.

The documents - more than 100 in all - were given to The Inquirer by Brett Cott, a former top aide to House Democrats who faces 42 corruption counts. As required by law, state prosecutors provided the documents to Cott and the other defendants as part of the discovery phase of the case.

Brett Cott was mentioned in my post back in March.

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