Former Pa. House aide sues over corruption arrest
HARRISBURG — A former Pennsylvania House Republican legislative aide sued Gov. Tom Corbett and six others on Thursday for what he claims was malicious prosecution during an investigation into misuse of government resources for political campaigns.
John R. Zimmerman says he was unfairly portrayed as a criminal when charges were filed against him in 2009. They were dropped two years later.
Zimmerman alleges he was charged to prevent him from being a witness to help other defendants, to retaliate against him for supporting former House Speaker John Perzel and to balance the number of Republicans and Democrats being prosecuted.
“His name was dragged through the mud,” his lawyer, Devon Jacob, said. “The reality is he was forced to do a perp walk in front of the cameras.”
Corbett was attorney general when the legislative corruption probe began in January 2007, after news broke that lawmakers quietly handed out millions in bonuses to their aides.
Other defendants in Zimmerman's suit are Linda Kelly, whom Corbett nominated to take over as attorney general when he was elected governor, as well as three prosecutors and two investigators who worked on the Zimmerman case.
A spokesman for Corbett declined to comment, as did the investigators. Kelly and prosecutors did not return phone messages. Joe Peters, press secretary for the current attorney general, Kathleen Kane, declined to comment, saying the office may have to defend Corbett.
Zimmerman, who now lives in Hummelstown, was charged in an investigation that focused on how House Republicans used state-paid computer resources to gain an advantage in campaigns.
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 â 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.