Former Pennsylvania House Speakers Trial Starts Today

01.23.12 | Sarah Harnisch

Opening statements for former Pennsylvania House Speaker Bill DeWeese's corruption trial began this morning. It's the culmination of a 5-year old investigation by the State Attorney General's office. Prosecutors accuse the 61-year-old of illegally using state employees and taxpayer resources to campaign and fundraise. DeWeese's lawyer says he delegated the responsibility to hundreds of caucus employees, and any campaign activity was done on their own time. DeWeese had a 35-year-legislative career in state House leadership. He faces four counts of theft and one count of conspiracy. He's one of the last defendants to be charged. So far, 25 people have been arrested, including 11 Democrats and 9 Republicans that have been convicted or pleaded guilty.