Vince Fumo expected to speak in defense

Federal prosecutors in the resentencing of convicted ex-Sen. Vince Fumo yesterday tried to paint a picture of a man who continues to lie to suit his needs.

Fumo was sentenced to 55 months in prison in July 2009 after he was convicted of defrauding the state Senate, the Citizens Alliance, and Independence Seaport Museum out of millions of dollars, but an appeals court tossed out the sentence by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Buckwalter. Prosecutors want the sentence increased to 18 years, while Fumo’s defense is pushing for the same sentence.

Testimony yesterday largely focused on Fumo’s health and his application for a drug treatment program at the Ashland, Ky., prison where he’s confined. Dr. John Manenti, regional medical director for the Bureau of Prisons, testified that Fumo’s overall health has been stable despite serious medical conditions.

“He’s done quite well,” Manenti said of Fumo’s improvement with anxiety attacks and renal failure.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer also claimed that Fumo applied for residential drug abuse treatment in order to get a reduced sentence. He pointed to several letters written by Fumo’s physicians after he was sentenced that referred to prescription drug and alcohol abuse — problems that were not mentioned before sentencing.

Defense attorneys argue that Fumo was addicted to painkillers before his arrest and applied to the program to get help.

Sentence possible today

A bearded Fumo sat in the courtroom in a green prison jumpsuit with his hair somewhat disheveled. He occasionally nodded to family and friends, while also conferring several times with defense attorneys.

Fumo is expected to speak on his behalf today before Buckwalter imposes a new sentence. A ruling could come by this afternoon.

More from our Sister Sites