Pa. prosecutors to make case against state Sen. Leanna Washington

 State Sen. LeAnna Washington, D-Philadelphia (Alex Brandon/AP Photo, file)

State Sen. LeAnna Washington, D-Philadelphia (Alex Brandon/AP Photo, file)

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is poised to present evidence in a hearing to determine whether state Sen. Leanna Washington must face a jury trial on corruption charges.

Wednesday’s hearing was to be before District Judge John Kessler in Abington.

Prosecutors allege Washington used her taxpayer-paid legislative staff for eight years to organize an elaborate, annual “birthday party” political fundraiser on taxpayer time, using taxpayer resources. Washington, a Democrat, represents parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

Washington’s lawyer, Henry Hockeimer, says the facts don’t amount to criminal conduct and the charges are “thin and specious.”

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The 68-year-old Washington was elected to the Senate in 2005 and is running for a third full term. She was charged March 12. The investigation became public in October after agents searched Washington’s offices.

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