By Oren Liebermann
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Vincent Fumo’s first taste of freedom in Philadelphia lasted all of about two seconds, from the door of his pickup truck to the door of the halfway house in Juniata Park. At 8:02 p.m. on Tuesday evening, Fumo pulled into the Kintock House after driving here from Ashland, Ky., where he served his four and a half year prison term.
“He went from being an archangel in heaven to being a zero in prison,” says former Philadelphia Councilman James Tayoun, who also served time in prison.
Fumo was considered one of the most powerful politicans in Pennsylvania – a state senator who served 30 years in the capitol. All that came crashing down in March 2009 when Fumo was convicted of 137 counts of conspiracy, fraud, and more. Tayoun knows what Fumo will go through.
“Fumo is facing many, many problems, most of them personal, most of them done by himself. And he’s got to fight through those, and it’s going to cost him a lot of money,” Tayoun says.
Tayoun spent three months in a halfway house, but Fumo’s stay here Tuesday night did not last nearly that long. Not even an hour.
Fifty-six minutes after Fumo pulled into the Kintock House, he left as quickly and quietly as he arrrived. His mansion on Green Street in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia was already decorated for a homecoming, with balloons on the front gate.
Twenty minutes after Fumo left the halfway house, he pulled into his own garage, vanishing into his mansion. His career as a politician is over. His life as a former inmate is just beginning.
Fumo has a job paying $10 an hour at his attorney’s law firm, but he is not allowed to offer legal advice. Fumo lost his license to practice law when he was convicted, and he will never again run for elected office in Pennsylvania.