HARRISBURG - Onetime Pennsylvania House Speaker Bill DeWeese has lost another round in his bid to overturn his 2012 corruption conviction.
A Dauphin County judge dismissed DeWeese's petition in a Nov. 8 order.
DeWeese's attorney, Gaetan Alfano, said they had not discussed whether they will appeal the ruling. His petition sought to have DeWeese's convictions vacated and to grant him a new trial, Alfano said.
Now 66, DeWeese served nearly two years in prison after being found guilty of charges that he compelled legislative employees to do political activities on state time. The Greene County Democrat also resigned from the House seat he had held since 1976.
In an earlier request for a new trial, the state Supreme Court in 2013 refused to consider his appeal of a ruling against him at the Superior Court level.
In the latest challenge, he had argued that he was limited at trial from calling all of the witnesses he had wanted to testify and that his attorney had been ineffective in certain regards.
But in his opinion, County Court Judge William Tully wrote that the transcript of the trial "reveals no evidence of partiality, prejudice, bias or ill-will" in the decision by the trial judge to limit the witnesses DeWeese could call. "Instead, there appeared to be some level of trial fatigue and an obvious desire to wind up the trial," the judge wrote.
Even if there had been an abuse of discretion, Tully concluded, the error would not have affected the outcome of the trial.
DeWeese was House speaker in 1993 and 1994, then minority leader through 2006 and majority leader in 2007 and 2008.