Imprisoned former state Sen. Vince Fumo has filed suit against his former campaign
treasurer and chairman, alleging the two men spent committee money on themselves and not for the benefit of the election campaign.
Fumo, who is currently serving out a federal prison sentence at a facility in Kentucky for his conviction on various public corruption charges, claims in his civil filing that Dominic Cosenza, his former campaign treasurer, and Andrew Cosenza, the former chairman, engaged in a scheme to take money from the campaign for their own personal use.
The lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 21 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by attorney Dion G. Rassias of The Beasley Firm, states that dating back to September 2009, the defendants engaged in expenditures not authorized by Fumo.
A review of the campaign committee’s statement of expenditures revealed what the suit calls “extraordinary expenditures” that appear to have been undertaken for the sole benefit of the defendants and not the Fumo for Senate Committee.
The suit states that Fumo had earlier authorized the removal of Dominic Cosenza as committee treasurer, who was instructed not to carry out any additional business with regard to the committee, and who was instructed to immediately return any and all tangible assets of the committee to Fumo’s lawyers as of mid June of this year.
“Defendant [Dominic] Cosenza has not complied with the candidate’s authorization or the directives that he no longer take any action whatsoever as the treasurer for the Committee,” the suit states.
Through his lawsuit, Fumo seeks an accounting of all the books and records of the committee from 2008 to the present, including receipts, documents, backup documentation and other materials handled by the former treasurer.
The suit accuses the defendants of breaching their fiduciary duty, engaging in conversion and conspiracy, and breaching their contract with the plaintiff.
The suit says that as committee chair, Andrew Cosenza was in charge of overseeing all expenditures of the campaign treasurer, Dominic Cosenza.
The lawsuit does not explain the relationship between the two defendants.
“In light of their respective roles for the Fumo for Senate Committee, each Defendant knew or should have known about the highly questionable and improper expenditures that were being made by the Campaign, especially since the Candidate was incarcerated,” the complaint states.
The suit goes on to accuse the defendants of concocting an agreement whereby they would each make payments without checking on one another or in concert with one another.
The lawsuit offers a list of disputed expenditures dating back to mid July 2008. They tally in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The lawsuit seeks declaratory relief that the defendants no longer be allowed to act as treasurer and chairman, respectively, of the Fumo for Senate Committee and that they return all assets, books and records to Fumo’s legal counsel immediately.
Fumo, once a high-ranking state senator from Philadelphia, was convicted in March 2009 of 137 counts of corruption charges.
He was subsequently sent to 55 months in federal prison, a controversial punishment that was pegged by some as being too lenient.
Fumo was sent to a federal white-collar prison in Ashland, KY.
The case ID number is 120802024.