Pa. aide to top state representative off to prison for “Bonusgate”

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The chief of staff for former Pa. State Rep. Mike Veon, was sentenced Friday to 11 ½ months to 23 months in state prison for participating in the corruption scandal known as “Bonusgate.” At the time of the scandal in 2006, Veon was House minority whip.

The aide, Jeff Forman, 59, admitted to directing public resources to pay for the cost of running political campaigns at the direction of Veon. Authorities said that Foreman was conducting campaign work while on state time and ordering his staff to do the same. He also was responsible for approving bonuses to be paid to staff for work they did on political campaigns, using taxpayer dollars.

Veon was charged with 11 counts each of conflict of interest, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft of services, theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds. He was found guilty in March and is currently serving 6 to 14 years.

Three defendants, all associated with the House Democratic caucus, were found guilty, while seven others, including Foreman, pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors. Foreman had originally been charged on 24 counts, but the amount was reduced as part of his plea deal.

Foreman is also expected to testify against Veon in a separate corruption case accusing the lawmaker of misusing millions of dollars in public funds that were funneled into a non-profit organization run by Veon, and used to pay for personal expenses and campaign workers.

Veon, 53, represented Beaver County in the Pa. legislature for 22 years and is now residing in the Laurel Highlands State Correctional Facility.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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