Rep. John M. Perzel, the former speaker of the state House, was charged today with 82 criminal counts in a sweeping scandal involving a sophisticated, multi-million software programs paid for by taxpayers but allegedly used for political campaigning. ...
Nine others with ties to the House Republican Caucus were also charged, including five former top Perzel aides and former Rep. Brett Feese of Lycoming County, who once headed the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Perzel is one of the many Republican state legislators who have repeatedly screwed over the city of Philadelphia and benefited Harrisburg, most notably via the money vacuum known as the Parking Authority.
The Philadelphia Republican is the most prominent political figure thus far to be charged in Attorney General Tom Corbett's long-running investigation unofficially known as Bonusgate. ...
The charges, laid out in a 188-page presentment, come 17 months after Corbett brought charges against a dozen House Democratic insiders - including former House Minority Whip Mike Veon - accusing them of misusing public funds for political purposes
Corbett is a Republican running for Governor and is going to be able to trade on these criminal cases as part of his campaign. In a statement, Perzel said:
"This investigation has lasted for nearly three years, and it's only now, on the eve of his gubernatorial campaign and in response to claims that he was unfairly pursuing only Democrats, that Attorney General Corbett has decided to bring charges against 10 Republicans, including me," said Perzel. "It smacks of political opportunism at the expense of my reputation, and I am going to fight very aggressively to prove my innocence.
Clearly, the timing is politically opportune for Corbett. Whether that means the case against Perzel is any good or not, I don't know.