No dreary dorm for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo as he finishes up the last months of his corruption sentence.
No bunk bed and locker at the utilitarian Kintock halfway house on Erie Avenue in North Philadelphia.
Instead, federal prisons officials confirmed Wednesday that Fumo would be permitted to serve out the last six months of his sentence in his home.
For Fumo, home is a 33-room Victorian mansion in Philadelphia's Spring Garden section - with a wine cellar, shooting range, indoor elevator, heated sidewalks, seven bathrooms, a guest suite, and servants' quarters. And an IRS lien for millions in back taxes on Fumo's criminal gains.
Chris Burke, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said the federal prison system reserved space in halfway houses like Kintock for inmates with "prerelease needs" - a permanent place to sleep, a job to find.
In contrast, Fumo has six bedrooms to choose from in his mansion, valued at $2.6 million by the city. And his criminal defense lawyer, Dennis Cogan, has hired him - for a $10-an-hour gig answering phones and filing paperwork.
Assuming his prison supervisors approve, Fumo will also be able to leave home for education, doctor's visits, church - even "limited social activities" with family members, Burke said. This kind of mobility is permitted inmates in halfway houses and home confinement.
Fumo, 70, has not spoken publicly since he left Kentucky on Tuesday in the company of his fiancee, Carolyn Zinni.
He comes home to a host of problem. He's at odds with all three of his children, the IRS is seeking nearly $3 million in back taxes, and federal prosecutors are demanding that he pay $800,000 in restitution on top of the million he has already paid.
His lawyers had said they expected him to spend a period of time at a halfway house before being sent home. Instead, Fumo and Zinni stopped only briefly at Kintock for some processing Tuesday night. She then drove him to the mansion, festooned with yellow ribbons and balloons with happy faces.
He had spent the last four years in a federal work camp on the grounds of the federal prison in Ashland.
A jury found Fumo, a Democrat who was once Philadelphia's most powerful state legislator, guilty of every charge he faced, concluding that he staged a $4.3 million rip-off of the Senate and a pair of nonprofit organizations and then tried to cover it up.
Fumo was sentenced to 61 months, but about seven months was shaved off to reward him for good behavior. His period of home confinement - and thus, his sentence - is scheduled to end Feb. 2.
After that, he will spend three years on supervised probation and must perform about three months of full-time community service.
While Fumo was released immediately to his home, his chief accomplice in the case, former Senate aide Ruth Arnao, had to spend several weeks in a halfway home on Luzerne Avenue in North Philadelphia before she was sent home.
Another Fumo aide caught up in his wrongdoing, Leonard Luchko, a former Senate computer expert, spent only a night at his halfway facility before release to his house.
Cogan, Fumo's lawyer, declined to comment Wednesday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Zauzmer, who brought the Fumo case along with former federal prosecutor John Pease, voiced no criticism of the decision.
"This is a matter which is decided by the Bureau of Prisons, and we know they are following their ordinary policies," Zauzmer said Wednesday. "We leave it in their very capable hands."
Had Fumo had to stay at the privately run Kintock, he would have faced a far less attractive atmosphere than at his mansion.
Fumo would have been one of about 325 inmates at Kintock, a mix of men and a few women doing federal, state, and county time. As a federal prisoner, he would have joined about 40 other inmates into a dorm divided into four rooming areas, Kintock officials say.
In Kintock, the technology-addicted Fumo would have been barred from using a cellphone, surfing the Web or even exchanging e-mail. That would have been difficult for a man who, according to testimony, would routinely e-mail people who were one room away from him.
Burke, the prisons spokesman, said he could not comment on any precise rules that might apply to Fumo, but said many inmates confined to home may use computers.
Still, not all will be congenial.
The former senator will still have to check in often with prison supervisors and likely undergo routine mandated urine tests for alcohol or drug issues.
It would be "highly unusual," Burke said, for any inmate to get permission to travel out of state. This could crimp Fumo's ability to visit his beach-block home in Margate, N.J., or his bayside condo in nearby Ventnor.
And should Fumo run afoul of the rules, Burke said, he could be sent to Kintock - or even back to Kentucky. "He's still in custody," Burke said.