Federal prosecutors file Fumo appeal

    Federal prosecutors have filed an appeal of former state Senator Vince Fumo’s 4 1/2 year sentence. The Solicitor General still needs to sign off on the decision. But it does re-open the possibility that Fumo could appeal his conviction, something he decided not to do last week.

    Federal prosecutors have filed an appeal of former state Senator Vince Fumo’s 4 1/2 year sentence. The Solicitor General still needs to sign off on the decision. But it does re-open the possibility that Fumo could appeal his conviction, something he decided not to do last week.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090812sptrial.mp3]

    Fumo’s Attorney Dennis Cogan said Fumo is ready to do his time. But now that prosecutors have appealed Fumo’s sentence, that could change. Cogan says at least one juror had been prejudiced by information gained from a co-worker. A previous appeal on the issue was rejected by the trial judge.

    Edward Ohlbaum is a professor at Temple University’s law school. He says Fumo’s chances of a successful appeal are slim.

    Ohlbaum: He could file an appeal of the conviction and I could put in my name for the next archbishop of Philadelphia and we would both have the same chance of success.

    A jury found Fumo guilty on 137 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Buckwalter later sentenced the former state Senator to 4 1/2 years, well below the federal guidelines. Fumo now has two weeks to decide whether to appeal his conviction.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.