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Acquitted bonusgate defendant speaks out

Former State Rep. Sean Ramaley was the first defendant to go on trial in connection with Attorney General Tom Corbett's ongoing investigation into state corruption. After three hours of deliberation, the jury found him not guilty on all counts.

Ramaley gave his first interview since his acquittal to Jon Delano, a television reporter in Pittsburgh. The former state representative said his case came down to a battle of witnesses.

Ramaley said his witnesses testified that he did do legislative work out of Veon's office, while the government's witnesses were weak.

"The main witness had not only lied to the grand jury, he had committed crimes himself and based on the testimony he gave it was clear that he had lied in front of the jury during my trial," he said.

Relief washed over Ramaley when the foreman read the verdict.

"When I started hearing the not guiltys -- and I got to tell you the foreperson was pretty emphatic -- it was a major sense of gratitude and I was very thankful and very prayerful," Ramaley said.

The Economy resident has always maintained that he was never guilty of the charge of campaigning on government time.

"I did my job. I was there to work. I worked, and then I went home, changed clothes, and campaigned," he said.

The exonerated state representative also told Delano that he believes the prosecution was politically motivated. Ramaley said he was a target because of his plans to run for State Senate.

"If that was the plan, it worked because I got out of the race and the Republicans did in fact take that Senate seat. Now it would be only speculation for me to say that whether that was the motivation, but if it was, it worked," he said.

What do you think? How big of a setback is this acquittal for Corbett? Is this a sign of things to come?

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