Arnao to be sentenced

    The sentencing of former Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Fumo’s aide and co-defendent takes place Tuesday at the federal courthouse in downtown Philadelphia.

    The sentencing of former Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Fumo’s aide and co-defendent takes place Tuesday at the federal courthouse in downtown Philadelphia. A jury found Ruth Arnao guilty of all 45 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090720sptrial.mp3]

    Ruth Arnao has been a sidebar to the headline grabbing Vince Fumo. But she heads into court with a stack of support letters that paint a very different picture of the former Senator, than the 300-plus letters the judge cited when sentencing Fumo to just 55 months.

    The Fumo letters tell of a hardworking, effective public servant who stands up for the little guy.

    But in Arnao’s letters, friends say he used his charm to manipulate her. They say she viewed Fumo as God, prioritized his needs over those of her own children, and never questioned his orders.

    Temple University Law professor Edward Ohlbaum says he hesitates to guess what the judge will do.

    Ohlbaum: On the one hand the judge might be thinking, despite the fact that she was blinded by the Fumo Majesty, or cast under his spell, the work she did benefited a substantial number of people and because Fumo got credit for that, she gets credit for that as well.

    The prosecution says Arnao is not “the meek and dependent wallflower” her supporters contend.

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