Ex-House Democratic leader DeWeese seeks new trial
HARRISBURG — A former Pennsylvania House Democratic leader who served a sentence for corruption is seeking a new trial now that he’s out of state prison.
Former state Rep. Bill DeWeese made the filing this week in Dauphin County Court claiming he should have been allowed to present more defense witnesses during his trial.
The filing contends that DeWeese’s trial attorney didn’t represent him effectively.
The 64-year-old Greene County Democrat was convicted in 2012 and released from state prison on March 30.
A Dauphin County jury convicted DeWeese of conspiracy, conflict of interest and theft for using his position to persuade or force employees to illegally perform campaign work and misusing public resources for political purposes.
He’s on parole until his sentence ends in 2017.
DeWeese represented his Southwestern Pennsylvania district for 35 years, spending much of his tenure in Democratic leadership, including a two-year stint as House speaker.
DeWeese was the only sitting legislator to stand trial among the 25 Democrats and Republicans connected to the House of Representatives who were arrested in a state corruption probe.
Most of the defendants were convicted.