The federal jury weighing the fate of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's top political strategist Ken Smukler has reached a verdict, and it will be announced shortly.
The jury concluded its first full day of deliberations Friday. The panel of six men and six women conferred for nearly nine hours on whether Smukler, 58, of Villanova, violated campaign finance laws in back-to-back congressional campaigns he ran earlier this decade.
In the first, Brady's 2012 primary opponent dropped out of the race after the congressman promised to give him $90,000 to help pay down his campaign debts. Prosecutors have described that as an illegal campaign contribution and accused Smukler of helping to funnel the money.
Smukler also has been charged with flouting electoral spending restrictions in the campaign he ran next – former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies' 2014 bid to win back a seat in the House she previously held in the '90s.
Her campaign improperly tapped donations earmarked for the general election race when it ran out of money in the primary she lost to U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle. Prosecutors allege that after her defeat Smukler solicited hundreds of thousands of illegal donations to cover up the misspending and refund Margolies' general election contributors, as required by law.