Fumo lashes out in angry prison emails

    In a court filing you have to read to believe, federal authorities say former state Sen. Vince Fumo has written profane emails attacking prosecutors and journalists, declaring his innocence, and promising to get even with former associates who cooperated in his prosecution on corruption charges.

    Fumo is to be re-sentenced next month for his 2009 conviction, and prosecutors say the messages written on a monitored, prison email system show Fumo is unrepentant and doesn’t desrve lenience.

    The filing is a sentencing memorandum. Defense attornies will file a response.

    The memo says Fumo had an email relationship with a ninth-grade student, who wondered what Fumo meant by his using the phrase a “travesty of justice.”

    Fumo replied:

    “This whole nightmare of my case. I never hurt anyone in my life. There were n0 victims. But because of who I was and the jealousies that swirl around my success and power, I was targeted. In the end I got convicted of technical bulls***. But the press started a feeding frenzy that has still not subsided. So it cost me my career, my pension, all of my cash (in legal fees and fines, etc.) and my freedom.

    If that isn’t a travesty of justice, I don’t know what is????”

    Also in the filing…

    In an April 21 email, he stated, “I do feel Christlike in the injustice I have suffered throughout this whole nightmare!!! :-(“

    In an e-mail on May 28, 2011, he compared himself to Jews in concentration camps, prisoners at Guantanamo, and the Mubarak family on trial in Egypt.

    “America has become just another f***** up banana republic in a f***** up world of banana republics that all call themselves free countries!,” he wrote.

    “The whole world has gone mad. It’s a feeding frenzy and we are just a small part of it.”


    …on May 26, 2011, Fumo responded to a columnist’s piece in the Philadelphia Daily News that day which praised prosecutors’ pursuit of their appeal in this case; Fumo wrote a string of sexual epithets about the columnist so crude and debased that we will not publish it here. Attorney Cogan responded with a strong request that Fumo refrain from expressing his feelings via email.

    Cogan refers to Denis Cogan, Fumo’s defense attorney. The Daily News columnist in question is Ronnie Polaneczky.

    The filing also quotes several emails with former Inquirer reporter Ralph Cipriano, who the filing says is working on a book with Fumo and has become “a Fumo devotee and full member of Fumo’s camp.”

    The filing also says Fumo bragged that he’d cut a deal to name the next U.S. Attorney if the Democrats won the White House in 2004, a move he hoped would end the investigation of his activities.

    In a section titled “Settling Scores,” prosecutors say Fumo promised to exact vengeance on former friends and associates who he felt betrayed him in the corruption case, including his old friend and former Pennsylvania Turnpike chairman Mitchell Rubin.

    Fumo says this about an unnamed Philadelphia elected official in a June email:

    “I can’t wait for this s*** to be over so I can speak out against this f***ing hypocrite. He is an ungrateful, disloyal piece of s*** that I made from nothing and he will be nothing again by the time I am done with him!!!”

    And prosecutors say Fumo plans to become a lobbyist when he gets out and resume his old lifestyle. From the memorandum:

    Fumo and others write constantly of what he will do then, including finding a place to live in Philadelphia, restoring his beach home, and sailing. He plans to rehabilitate his farm, and perhaps add a marine service facility on the Susquehanna River which borders the farm. From prison, he stays on top of and supervises the most minute details regarding maintenance and rehabilitation of his farm and other properties, and is shopping by e-mail for property in Key West. He even writes about undertaking efforts to restore his right to own firearms.

    Further in the memo:

    On October 9, Fumo wrote to an assistant seeking information on a boat for sale for $825,000, and on Jeeps for sale Fumo would like for the shore and farm. Earlier, on April 22, Fumo asked Zinni to order him a $129 “Farmall Pride Reversible Jacket.”

    He explained: “this one is for the farm so I can wear it WHEN I buy my antiques Farmall that will match the model of the one I had in my District Office! 🙂 Love you!!!! XO”14

    Carolyn Zinni is Fumo’s fiancee.

    On May 9, he wrote to Zinni: The TV Cabinet in the living room was purchased through [redacted15]. He was my designer on most of my homes. Please contact him and see if he has any idea how to get the cabinet fixed so it will go up and down again. Tell him I said Hi as well.

    Contact [redacted] and ask him who to contact at the THE LIGHTING GROUP regarding the lighting on the front of the house. He recommended them to me years ago when I did the lighting. Then find out from them if there are any newer and better lasting fixtures like the ones they originally specked for the facade.

    They might even still have the original working file for the house.

    Contact [redacted] and see if she can either find a copy of the “Architectural Line Drawings of the Facade” of the house or get me a new set made.

    Farmall was a prominent brand of tractors manufactured between the 1920s and 1970s.

    Prosecutors also accuse Fumo of lying about his medical history to try and get into a special prison drug program that could lead to an earlier release.

    I reached Fumo’s trial attorney, Dennis Cogan, who said he hadn’t read the filing through yet but didn’t believe the emails supported the government’s legal arguments for a longer sentence.

    “He’s a broken man,” Cogan said. “The fact that he acts out and curses, that he’s angry with prosecutors is understandable.”

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