HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The man who initiated the probe of former Pennsylvania House speaker John Perzel -– Governor Tom Corbett –- says Perzel’s guilty pleas yesterday should answer critics of the campaign contributions he has gotten from natural gas drilling interests.

One day after Perzel pleaded guilty to public corruption charges (see related story), current governor and former state attorney general Tom Corbett said he and his successor in the AG’s office are trying to “rebuild the confidence” of the public in their elected officials.

Corbett notes that Perzel was also a contributor to his campaign.

“And particularly, I’ll talk about the Marcellus (Shale) right now, because I did receive a fair amount of money [from] the Marcellus.  I also, back in 2004, received campaign contributions directly to my campaign from the former speaker.  It didn’t do him any good, did it?”

The governor says donors to his campaign expecting him to do anything other than his duty should have kept their money.

Corbett was still attorney general when charges were brought against Perzel and nine others associated with the state House Republican caucus in November 2009.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo