Inquirer staff writer Emilie Lounsberry reports:
The corruption trial of former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo moves into its eighth week this morning with the expected testimony of Fumo's former butler.
Prosecutors are calling the butler as they continue efforts to show that Fumo defrauded Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods by getting the nonprofit to pay for tools, luxury vehicles, vacuum cleaners and other household goods for him.
While the case is presented to the jury in the trial before U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter, prosecutors and defense lawyers are arguing behind the scenes about the pace of the trial.
In court documents filed last week, defense attorney Peter Goldberger, a member of Fumo's defense team, asked Buckwalter to split off one section of the trial – an alleged fraud on the Independence Seaport Museum – and hold a separate trial later on that issue.
Such a move, he said, would shave several weeks off the trial, which is now expected to extend through January.
But Assistant U.S. Attorneys John J. Pease and Robert A. Zauzmer said they have trimmed the number of witnesses they had planned to call — but should be allowed to put on their case.
There is "a vast amount of detail" that must be presented, they said, because "Fumo and Arnao stole on a daily basis for years, in thousands of transactions which, while sometimes small, eventually added up to millions of dollars in goods and services."
Buckwalter is expected to rule on the matter, perhaps this week.
Contact staff writer Emilie Lounsberry at 215-854-4828 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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