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Former Pa. Senate Leader Faces Charges Of Misusing Taxpayer Money For Political Purposes

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Yet another prominent Pennsylvania political figure is facing charges of misusing taxpayer resources for political purposes.

Robert Mellow (pictured) of Lackawanna County was the longtime Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate until he decided not to run again.

Now, Peter Smith, US Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, says Mellow is accused of misusing the resources and staff of the Senate for political and personal work, “and submitting false and misleading information to the Senate Clerk’s Office in order to cause staffers to be paid by the state for work for which they were not entitled to be paid.”

And Smith says a plea agreement has been submitted to the court. Another federal investigation resulted in conviction on corruption charges for former Philadelphia Senate Democrat Vincent Fumo and a state attorney general’s office probe has netted convictions or guilty pleas from several former state House leaders.