Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo yesterday lost his bid to delay sentencing on his corruption conviction and will have to hear his fate as originally scheduled, on July 14.
Fumo, convicted in March of all 137 counts against him in a sweeping indictment, had asked a federal judge to push his sentencing beyond the end of the summer.
But U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter yesterday rejected Fumo's request without an explanation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Pease, one of the two prosecutors in the case, said he and his colleague, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Zauzmer, were thrilled with the ruling.
Dennis J. Cogan, the leader of Fumo's defense team, declined to comment yesterday.
Fumo, a Democrat who for decades had been an influential politician in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, is facing a potentially grim judgment day.
In a draft presentence report, senior probation officials have calculated that federal sentencing guidelines call for Fumo to get a prison term of 262 to 327 months. The prosecution and the defense are expected to battle over the calculation.
Although the guidelines are not mandatory and Buckwalter does not have a reputation as a harsh sentencer, the report's recommendation of a prison term of about 21 to 27 years appears to be an ominous sign for Fumo, 66.
Prosecutors have not made public their sentencing recommendation, but they are expected to ask for a long prison term and to seek to have Fumo jailed immediately - and not be permitted to stay free pending appeals.
Ruth Arnao, the former Fumo legislative aide who was convicted with him, is to be sentenced July 21. She has not requested a delay.
After a months-long trial, Fumo was convicted of defrauding the Senate by getting his staff to perform political-campaign and personal errands for him on state time, and defrauding the nonprofit Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods by getting it to pay for thousands of purchases for him. Fumo also was convicted of defrauding the Independence Seaport Museum by taking free trips on yachts provided by the museum, of obstructing the FBI investigation, and of skirting tax laws.
Cogan had asked the judge to delay Fumo's sentencing until at least Sept. 28. He said that the defense team had recently added a new lawyer and needed more time to prepare its sentencing pitch.
In particular, Cogan said he wanted additional weeks to critique the draft report's math.
Prosecutors scoffed at all this. In their rebuttal filing, Pease and Zauzmer said Fumo was simply seeking to "postpone punishment."