The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has refused a petition by Bill DeWeese to
hear a final appeal in the former state representative’s corruption case.
In a one-sentence per curiam order filed on Nov. 26, the justices denied a petition for allowance of appeal filed by DeWeese, who is currently serving a two-and-a-half-to-five-year prison term on a corruption conviction.
DeWeese, a Democrat who formerly represented a legislative district in Greene County, located in southwestern Pennsylvania, had been convicted in 2012 on five felony counts relating to using state resources for political purposes.
He went on to win re-nomination to his seat during the April 2012 primary election despite the conviction, but the Commonwealth Court, an intermediate appellate body, determined that DeWeese could be replaced by the Democratic Party on the ballot because he would be unable to serve out a new term due to his felony conviction.
Dauphin County Common Pleas Court Judge Todd A. Hoover had sentenced DeWeese to a state prison term on April 24, the very same day as the primary election, the Pennsylvania Record previously reported.
DeWeese, who at one time served as the speaker of the state House of Representatives, appealed his conviction in December 2012, but the state’s Superior Court ultimately upheld the conviction.
Prosecutors from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office contended at trial that DeWeese’s actions cost state taxpayers more than $100,000.
The Attorney General’s Office had asserted that DeWeese committed his crimes between 2001 and 2006, a time period during which the defendant served as minority leader of the state House, according to a report in the Harrisburg Patriot News.
DeWeese was one of a number of elected officials who were tried for public corruption charges in what came to be known as the Bonusgate investigation, which was started by then-Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is currently Pennsylvania’s governor.