Pennsylvania Supreme Court agrees to hear ex-Rep. Mike Veon's appeal in public corruption case



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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — The state Supreme Court agreed on Thursday to consider former state Rep. Michael Veon's appeal in a legislative corruption case.

In a one-page order, the court said it would hear Veon's arguments that the state's conflict-of-interest law is unconstitutionally vague and that a trial judge improperly expanded its reach to bar public officials from realizing even "intangible" political benefits from their actions.

The appeal also will challenge $1 million in restitution that the former Beaver County lawmaker was ordered to pay to the state on grounds that the commonwealth cannot be a victim entitled to restitution, said one of his lawyers, Joel Sansone.

"The Supreme Court has made the right choice," Sansone said.

Veon, a longtime House Democratic whip, was released from prison in June after serving five years for convictions at two trials of using state funds to pay bonuses to state employees for campaign work, illegal campaign fundraising and the misuse of taxpayers' money for a nonprofit he ran.

Veon served in the House for 22 years until voters ousted him in the 2006 election.

His sentence was the longest among 22 House members and aides who were convicted or pleaded guilty as a result of an investigation by the state attorney general's office.

A spokesman for Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane said her office would review the court's order before making any response.

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