Government
8:35 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

DeWeese Says Goodbye

Former Pennsylvania House leader Bill DeWeese (D-Greene County) had his last hurrah on the chamber floor Tuesday after being found guilty on corruption charges for requiring staff members to work on election campaigns as part of their state paid jobs.

DeWeese took the podium, outlining the three parts of his farewell address to the House: gratitude, humility, and friendship.

During his speech, DeWeese said the House should be more about partnership than partisanship in the future. He acknowledged he has played the partisan role.

"There are some things, and I can say it with the harsh reality of the moment, there are more important things than the speaker's gavel for me now," said DeWeese. "And there are more important things than the speaker's portrait."

DeWeese is scheduled to be sentenced April 24th, Pennsylvania's primary election day.

He alluded to the circumstances of his leaving, but did not mention his conviction. Instead, he briefly reflected on his growth in humility and thanked Capitol support staff, legislative employees, and his colleagues.

"I shall remember all of you, staff and members alike. I shall miss you. And I shall miss your friendship. Thank you," he said.

DeWeese received a nearly full standing ovation from his colleagues. Missing from the roughly 20 minute goodbye was an apology.