Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Philadephia Councilman's Corruption Trial Begins

The trial of Philadelphia City Councilman Rick Mariano on corruption charges began in earnest with the government calling his former chief of staff to testify regarding Mariano's admission that he would likely go to jail after a government search of his office.  Mariano's former chief of staff, Walt DeTreux, testified, "He had said he's going to jail and he said, 'I'm a man and have to take responsibility for what I did.'"  Mariano has been charged with accepting $28,000 from Erie Steel Co., a company that wanted to receive benefits from the city, involving disguised payments of his credit card balances.  Two defendants, Joseph Pellecchia and Vincent DiPentino, entered guilty pleas and admitted helping Erie Steel hide over $17,000 in payments to Mariano, and will testify at trial.  The owners of Erie Steel have also been indicted and will go on trial later.  A KYW News Radio story (here) discusses DeTreux's testimony. (ph)

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