TribLIVE

| State

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Judge send Pennsylvania state Sen. Washington's corruption charges to trial

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 9:39 p.m.
 

ABINGTON — Pennsylvania state prosecutors won a first step on Wednesday in their corruption case against state Sen. Leanna Washington, securing a judge's ruling that they have enough evidence for a trial on charges that Washington crossed the line when she allegedly ordered taxpayer-paid employees to organize an annual “birthday party” political fundraiser.

For eight years, Washington pressured her Senate staff to devote weeks to drawing up guest lists that included city and state officials, creating invitations and taking money from invitees that ultimately went to Washington's campaign account, prosecutors say.

They also allegedly used taxpayer-paid computers, copiers and office supplies.

District Judge John Kessler ruled that testimony from one of Washington's former employees, Jamila Hall, was strong enough to allow the case to go to trial. In a grand jury presentment issued with the charges March 12, prosecutors listed seven current or former employees or interns, including Hall, who said they witnessed or carried out tasks to organize the fundraisers.

Washington, 68, declined comment after the two-hour hearing at Kessler's Montgomery County office. Washington, a Democrat who represents parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, is running for a third full term this year.

The charges against Washington include one count each of theft of services and conflict of interest, both felonies.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pennsylvania

  1. Pennsylvania’s new online voter registration site goes live
  2. Kane received sensitive emails on personal account
  3. Pa. Gov. Wolf: Big changes needed in troubled school district
  4. Judge holds Pa. AG Kane for trial on 1 felony, 7 misdemeanors
  5. Pa. to kick off online registration
  6. Democrats stand firm, deny GOP the margin needed in Pa. budget battle
  7. No rest for students working mattress fundraisers
  8. Retired Pa. Attorney General’s Office agent says criminal case against Kane stresses department
  9. $420M in college aid snagged by budget impasse
  10. Scranton father, daughter cross chasing tornadoes off bucket list
  11. Pa. House Republicans plan override votes despite constitutionality questions