Two Pa. Democrats charged in corruption probe

    Two top Democrats are the latest to face charges in a legislative corruption investigation. Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett, who’s running for governor, has now indicted 25 people on charges of misusing tax dollars.

    Two top Democrats are the latest to face charges in a legislative corruption investigation. Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett, who’s running for governor, has now indicted 25 people on charges of misusing tax dollars.
    Caption: House Democratic Whip Bill DeWeese and State Revenue Secretary Steve Stetler

    Listen:
    [audio: 091215sdbgate.mp3]

    Corbett’s presentment charges House Democratic Whip Bill DeWeese and State Revenue Secretary Steve Stetler with orchestrating efforts to raise money and conduct other political business with public finances.

    Stetler ran the House Democratic Campaign Committee before he joined the Rendell Administration, and Corbett says he ordered legislative staffers to raise money and conduct opposition research.

    Corbett says a former Stetler aide told the Grand Jury that the York County lawmaker once rejected a proposal to hire an outside firm to take over the political work.

    Corbett: “Why would the HDCC, the House Democratic campaign caucus, pay an outside firm for opposition research?” Stetler asked Wiedemer, when they had a, quote, “perfectly good system in place already,” end quote.

    Stetler resigned just before the indictment was announced. DeWeese will have to step down as whip, according to caucus rules. Both men, as well as DeWeese staffer Sharon Rodavich, face theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest charges.

    DeWeese says he’s “disappointed” by the charges, saying he’s cooperated with the investigation for three years. Stetler’s lawyer has not returned a call for comment.

    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.