NOVEMBER 20, 2007
Pennsylvania lawmakers promised much-needed political reform this year but instead the state capitol has been rocked by several scandals, including the unrelated indictments of two powerful Democrats.
Last week a state Representative, Democrat Frank LaGrotta, was charged by Pennsylvania’s Attorney General for putting two relatives on the state payroll as ghost employees. The disgraced legislator paid his niece and sister thousands of taxpayer dollars for work they never did.
A day earlier seven top state House Democrat legislative aides were abruptly fired for illegally receiving bonuses for doing political campaign work. Pennsylvania House Democrats gave employees nearly $2 million in bonuses last year with the biggest chunk going to the loyal fired aides.
Earlier this year one of the state’s most powerful Democrats, Senator Vincent Fumo of Philadelphia, was federally indicted for fraud and corruption. Prosecutors say the veteran legislator repeatedly used Senate employees and contractors to serve his personal and political needs, resulting in a loss of more than $1 million to taxpayers.
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