Pa. judge nixes former state Rep. DeWeese's bid for new trial on corruption charges

By Jon Campisi | Aug 27, 2012

A state judge had denied a bid by former state Rep. Bill DeWeese for a new trial on

charges that he used his office for political and campaign purposes.

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, a daily paper in the state’s capitol, reported Friday that Dauphin County Common Pleas Court Judge Todd Hoover rejected the plea from the convicted former state legislator on the grounds that the previous trial court rulings were sufficient.

Hoover also denied DeWeese’s bid to modify his two-and-a-half year to- five-year prison sentence, the newspaper reported.

DeWeese, a 62-year-old Democrat from Greene County, which is located in southwestern Pennsylvania, was convicted early this year of five felonies relating to using state resources for political purposes.

In April, DeWeese won re-nomination to his 50th State House District seat despite his criminal conviction.

The Democratic Party took the fight to the Commonwealth Court, the state’s lower-tier appellate court that handles, among other things, election matters, arguing that DeWeese should be replaced by another candidate since the now-felon is ineligible to hold office given his conviction.

Earlier this month, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley agreed with the party, ruling that DeWeese cannot appear on November’s general election ballot.

DeWeese had won re-nomination on Primary Election Day in April, oddly enough the very same day he received his prison sentence.

DeWeese is currently incarcerated in a state prison in northeastern Pennsylvania.

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