The chef on an Independence Seaport Museum yacht became "very upset" after Sen. Vince Fumo failed to pay the tab for meals on two cruises he chartered in Florida in February 1999 and 2000, according to testimony at Fumo's federal-corruption trial yesterday.
Jean Wyatt-Filer, who skippered a museum-owned yacht with her husband from 1995 to 2000, told jurors that the client customarily pays the chef when he departs the yacht, but that that didn't happen in these two instances.
Wyatt-Filer testified that she called the museum's then-chief executive officer, John Carter, and the museum paid the $6,000 worth of food and service for both cruises.
One meal included five bottles of champagne, canapes with smoked salmon and beef tenderloin.
Wyatt-Filer said Carter wasn't happy about paying for the champagne, which cost $900, according to exhibits admitted yesterday.
On cross-examination, Wyatt-Filer said she didn't know one way or the other if Fumo or the museum had been responsible for chefs' bills aboard the yacht.
Earlier yesterday, jurors heard from Ken Snyder, a former political consultant for Fumo. He testified that he had asked two polling firms - Kiley & Co. in Boston and Global Strategy Group in New York - to do political polls for Fumo.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pease questioned Snyder about a series of polls in 2002 and 2003 that gauged the strength of various candidates running for mayor and City Council in Philadelphia and legislative districts in the suburbs.
Prosecutors allege that Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, a nonprofit organization that Fumo founded, paid $250,000 for these and other polls for prohibited political purposes.
Snyder testified that none of the polls had been done for Citizens Alliance, but at the behest of Fumo for his use.
Snyder testified about a meeting he attended at Fumo's Tasker Street office with Fumo, his co-defendant Ruth Arnao, Howard Cain, another Fumo political consultant, and others in spring 2003.
The meeting, Snyder said, was to discuss results of a "tracking poll" Global had done for Kathleen Fitzpatrick, a City Council candidate running against former Councilman Rick Mariano in the 2003 Democratic primary.
That testimony was damaging to a major contention by the defense, which has argued that polling paid for by Citizens Alliance had been for a public purpose and not related to a candidate's campaign.
Snyder is expected to be cross-examined on Monday, when the trial resumes.
Prosecutors also admitted exhibits yesterday reflecting a series of e-mail exchanges between Fumo and Snyder in December 2004, while Fumo was under investigation, regarding a poll for a mayoral candidate in Atlantic City in which Snyder informs Fumo the candidate will pay for the poll.
"Please, I don't need any more f--- ups with Global and Citizens," Fumo replies.
When Snyder said he was surprised to learn that Global was billing Citizens, Fumo replied that he believed everything had been paid back to Citizens.
"So hopefully this mistake in billing will be the end to this chapter of the Harassment Novel the feds are working on!!!," Fumo wrote. *