Former Rep. Veon Found Guilty In Corruption Trial
HARRISBURG (KDKA) – A guilty verdict has been reached in the corruption trial of former Beaver County State Rep. Mike Veon.
Court officials say the jury reached the verdict on its third day of deliberation and found Veon guilty of theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest.
Veon is accused of spending some of the $10 million in state grants he obtained for a non-profit agency called the Beaver Initiative for Growth. The money was intended to foster development in economically hard-hit towns like Beaver Falls.
He is already serving six-to-14 years for his conviction in the so-called “Bonusgate” case.
In announcing the indictment three years ago, then-Attorney General Tom Corbett said the money never got there.
“The grand jury determined that the Beaver Initiative for Growth was established primarily for the personal and political benefit of Mike Veon,” Corbett said in 2009. “Every dollar received and spent by the Beaver Initiative for Growth was from the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.”
At trial, the state argued that Veon doled out money to political allies, family and friends, giving one longtime staffer a lucrative retainer and awarding a $1 million no-bid contract to a contributor – a company called Delta Development.
Delta then hired Veon’s brother to a $160,000 a year job, but the state says there was no public benefit.
“The grand jury determined that Delta Development provided little to no work for the funds they received from the Beaver Initiative for Growth,” Corbett said.
Prosecutors further alleged that Veon used BIG funds to open two political offices – one in Beaver County and one above a cigar store on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
“These offices were never staffed by a member of the Beaver Initiative for Growth, by an employee of Beaver Initiative for Growth, but were in fact used primarily as satellite legislative offices for campaign purposes,” Corbett said.
The jury also convicted longtime Veon aide, Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink. She was also convicted in the so-called “Bonusgate” scandal. She’s out on bail while appealing her conviction while Veon is already serving time.
Veon’s attorney called this an unjust verdict and said his client will appeal.
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