Prosecutors may appeal Fumo's sentence

    Prosecutors say they are weighing their options when it comes to appealing the sentence of convicted former state Senator Vincent Fumo.

    Prosecutors say they are weighing their options when it comes to appealing the sentence of convicted former state Senator Vincent Fumo. The Philadelphia Democrat got four and a half years for 137 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. Some are wondering why the sentence is so light.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090715spfumotrial.mp3]

    The top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia says the judge sent “a mixed message” by sentencing a former powerbroker to less than half of the federal guidelines.

    Temple University Law professor Edward Ohlbaum says his jaw dropped when he learned of the sentence.

    Ohlbaum: I’m in awe in the defense lawyers who apparently sang the right notes and hit the right chords, with this particular judge. They did a phenomenal job presenting a dedicated and hard working senator.

    Ohlbaum says the message some politicians might take away is, its ok to steal, just make sure you work hard for constituents. But former federal prosecutor Gregory Paw, says any sentence sends a message

    Paw: This is a tremendous fall for Senator Fumo and it is a tremendous deterrance for others who serve in the Philadelphia region.

    Fumo will report to prison next month.

    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.