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Deweese Released After Corruption Sentence

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

PHILADELPHIA (KDKA/AP) – Former state Rep. Bill DeWeese has been released from prison after finishing his sentence for political corruption.

A spokeswoman for the state prison system says the Greene County Democrat was released from the state prison in Retreat Sunday at 7:20 a.m.

Christine McMillan says that DeWeese was picked up by a family member.

The 63-year-old former House speaker and minority leader was serving a 2½- to 5-year sentence for using public employees and taxpayer resources for political purposes.

He was eligible for parole starting Friday because as a first-time, nonviolent offender he must serve only 75 percent of his minimum sentence.

DeWeese, a Waynesburg Democrat, is the third to be freed of five state legislators serving time for public corruption charges.

DeWeese was convicted in 2012.

Pa. Sen. Jane Orie, a McCandless Republican, was convicted that same year of 14 counts, and former House Speaker John Perzel, a Philadelphia Republican, pled guilty to eight counts in 2012.

Despite sentences for each of 30 months, all three are being released after serving approximately two years or less in jail.

In contrast, former Pa. Rep. Mike Veon, a Beaver Falls Democrat — the first to be charged and convicted in Bonusgate in 2010 — has two more years on his minimum six-year sentence in jail.

The Parole Board says — with good behavior — Veon is eligible for parole in 15 months in June of 2015.

The last remaining jailed lawmaker – Pa. Rep. Brett Feese, a Lycoming Republican — is eligible then, too.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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