Perzel joins Veon at lockup near Somerset
HARRISBURG -- Former House Speaker John Perzel is serving his prison sentence for misusing public money at Laurel Highlands State Correctional Institution near Somerset, a "dormitory-style" prison for geriatric and sick inmates, Department of Corrections officials said Friday.
Perzel, 62, joins another former state legislator convicted for misusing public funds: former House Democratic Whip Mike Veon, 55, who has been at the prison for about two years. They are not believed to be housed in the same room or building.
For several years, Perzel, a Republican, and Veon teamed up on key issues to push former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell's agenda through a Republican-controlled House.
Perzel was assigned to the prison earlier this month. Susan McNaughton, a Corrections spokeswoman, confirmed Laurel Highlands is Perzel's "home prison," where he'll serve his 2 1⁄2- to five-year sentence.
The prison has about 1,400 inmates. About 20 percent of them are sick or elderly, said Betsy Nightingale, who works at Laurel Highlands.
As a new arrival, Perzel was assigned to a "general labor" crew to work on projects as needed.
At Laurel Highlands, inmates are confined in buildings with rooms housing as few as two or as many as 16 inmates, said Nightingale.
Perzel, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty last year to using state resources for campaigns. He was charged with overseeing a $10 million scheme to purchase state devices, software and data to use in elections.
Veon, formerly of Beaver Falls, was convicted by a Dauphin County jury in 2010 of approving $1.4 million in state-paid bonuses for legislative staffers who did campaign work. He's serving a six- to 14-year prison term.
Most recently, Perzel roomed with former House Speaker Bill DeWeese, a Greene County Democrat, at the Camp Hill State Correctional Institution. DeWeese faces a prison term identical to Perzel.
Perzel's former chief of staff, Brian Preski, and DeWeese's former top aide, Mike Manzo, have both been assigned to Mercer State Correctional Institution. They were both convicted of using public resources for campaigns.
McNaughton said each inmate is evaluated individually and they aren't sent to institutions because they know someone there.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- H-D Advanced Manufacturing in Franklin Park buys Virginia-based aerospace components maker Firstmark
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- McKeesport duo a big part of PSGA basketball recruiting class
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- Instances of hacking may be up, but indictments against Chinese military impactful, experts say
- Rescue personnel plan to resume search for missing Monaca swimmer
- Saxonburg residents surprised by zoning proposal
- Pitt researchers using grant to find cures for viruses from mosquitoes
- New Kensington residents rally in support of 82-year-old robbery victim
- Plum landslide to be fixed after year