Convicted Pa. ex-rep gets prison, stays on ballot

April 24, 2012 - 2:55 PM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former longtime Pennsylvania House Democratic leader has been sentenced to 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison on corruption charges, but his constituents can still vote for him in Tuesday's primary.

Bill DeWeese was convicted in February on charges stemming from the illegal use of state employees and other public resources for political campaigns between 2001 and 2006.

Tuesday's sentencing came after DeWeese resigned from the House. The state constitution bars felons from serving in the Legislature.

But DeWeese is also unopposed for the Democratic nomination in the primary election. His name will stay on the general election ballot unless he withdraws it by Aug. 13.

If DeWeese wins re-election in November, he wouldn't be able to return to the Legislature unless an appellate court overturns his conviction.