Government
7:47 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Manzo Gets 18-48 Months Plus Restitution in Corruption Probe

A key prosecution witness in the corruption case against former Democratic leaders in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives has been sentenced by a county judge in Harrisburg to 18 to 48 months in prison.

42-year-old Mike Manzo also was given three years of probation and ordered to pay $73,000 in restitution.

The former chief of staff to one-time House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese of Greene County testified against his former boss who was later convicted of multiple felonies. DeWeese faces sentencing next week.

Manzo pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, six counts of conflict of interest and one count of conspiracy and agreed to forfeit his state pension as part of his plea deal.

During his sentencing hearing Manzo did not try to hide from the charges. "I found it really disappointing that there were so many people who refused to step up and take responsibility and that it was too easy for some people to say, 'Well, it was just the culture, or it was just the system, or it was the way everything was created.' I never bought into that," Manzo said.

Manzo's defense team requested that the former aid receive probation or house arrest rather than incarceration. "We are disappointed with the sentence, but we understand it and Mr. Manzo will serve it and then get on with his life," said lawyer Jim Eisenhower.

Manzo's testimony was used to help convict three individuals and other investigations are said to be ongoing using information he provided.