"What's black and white and read all over?"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Posted 8:58 PM by

Pa.'s House of cards falling?

House Majority Leader Bill DeWeeseBefore I took a year off from this blog to focus on real work, Pennsylvania was in a state of disarray. Democrats had just taken control of the House and immediately put off doing any real reform.

Not much has changed since then, but the business as usual attitude may finally be catching up to legislators on both sides of the aisle.

Case in point,seven senior legislative aides including Mike Manzo, the longtime chief of staff to House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, were ousted Tuesday in the wake of an attorney general investigation into $3.4 million in legislative employee bonuses, which may have been veiled illegal compensation for campaign work.

Kind of makes former House Speaker John Perzel look brilliant for similarly paying for his aides' campaign work out of his campaign contributions, rather than sticking it to taxpayers.

Meanwhile, a grand jury on Wednesday accused ex-state Rep. Frank LaGrotta of installing his sister and neice in no-show state jobs that paid them a total of $25,000.

Prosecutors also said that House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese co-signed with LaGrotta a June 2006 agreement that backdated by four months the hiring of LaGrotta's sister as an education consultant.

DeWeese issued a statement saying an unnamed underling signed DeWeese's name, and that person resigned Tuesday.


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