Friday, December 11, 2009

1st Bonusgate Defendant Acquitted

The first defendant to go to trial in Attorney General Tom Corbett’s legislative corruption investigation has been acquitted on all counts.
A jury deliberated for less than three hours before delivering “not guilty” verdicts on all six counts former Democratic Representative Sean Ramaley faced.
Ramaley said he felt “vindicated” by the decision, and thanked his friends, family and legal team for sticking with him over the past year.

"This is an important day. I’ve been really humbled by the people who have stuck by me through this, through their phone calls, their emails, their letters. People who have not been afraid to come out and say they stuck by me. Those people will always have a special place in my heard."

Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek says his case was weakened by the fact Ramaley was tried apart from other defendants.

"Perhaps the jury didn’t get the full picture. Certainly there was a tremendous amount of character sources and we had to deal with that. Our theory was that this was not a bad man, but he got involved with a bad group of people. Apparently the jury was more thinking that he was a good man."

Several defendants have claimed Corbett’s investigation is politically motivated, and tied to his campaign for governor, but Krastek dismissed that charge.

"I have no apologies for this prosecution. I was honored to prosecute this case. It was based on the evidence as we believed it. And we didn’t get a verdict, but I’m happy with the job we did."

The trial lasted just under a week. Other Democrats, including former Whip Mike Veon, go on trial next month.

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