KYW: My radio report on State Attorney General contender's criticism

In December 2007, Easton police Chief Larry Palmer, left, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, center, and Capt. David Ryan are shown during a late afternoon news conference. (Courtesy PennLive)

KYW News radio Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo kindly agreed to show me the rough ropes of radio reporting and production on Monday. Below hear my report – with his lede – and the script – with much credit to Tony.


The Democratic candidate for Attorney General today challenged the way his incumbent opponent has handled the so-called “Bonusgate” investigation of the Pennsylvania legislature. Christopher Wink reports…

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Post-Gazette: Bonus scandal [with my audio]

HARRISBURG — Rachel Manzo was released on her own recognizance yesterday, then returned an hour later to pay $10,000 — all in $20s — to bail her husband out of police custody.

They are among 12 current and former lawmakers and legislative aides charged in a scheme to use tax dollars to fund political campaigns.

The bail for Michael Manzo, who is thought to have orchestrated the plan, was the highest at $100,000 secured, which means he had to put up 10 percent of the money before he could be released.

“I’ve [represented] organized crime figures who didn’t have to pay this much bail,” his attorney, James J. Eisenhower, said while court personnel counted the bills, which Mrs. Manzo brought in 10 envelopes.

Above, hear Philip A. Ignelzi, the attorney for state Rep. Sean Ramaley, discuss the charges against his client and criticize state Attorney General Tom Corbett. Below hear Ignelzi discuss Ramaley’s state Senate campaign.

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Photo of former Democratic House Leader Mike Veon, courtesy of PennLive.

Post-Gazette: Bonus scandal defendants arraigned

It what may be the most significant story of my young journalism career, here a double byline for a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This breaking story appeared on the Web and an extensive follow up will appear in tomorrow’s edition.

HARRISBURG – Preliminary arraignments were held today for 11 people charged in the state bonus scandal, in which state Rep. Michael Veon, current Rep. Sean Ramaley and 10 current and former Democratic staffers allegedly conspired to divert millions of dollars in state resources, including more than $1 million in illegal pay bonuses.

The charges stem from two grand jury presentments unveiled yesterday in which jurors said Mr. Veon and the staff members conspired to arrange hefty year-end bonuses to House employees who worked on political campaigns over a three-year period. Mr. Ramaley is accused of working full time on his 2004 House campaign in Beaver County while drawing a taxpayer salary as a member of Mr. Veon’s staff.

During the preliminary arraignments, the defendants hear, and are asked if they understand, the charges against them. They do not enter pleas.

The first preliminary arraignment took place yesterday for Jeff Foreman, an aide to House Majority Whip Keith McCall, D-Carbon. Mr. Foreman surrended to authorities even as Attorney General Tom Corbett held a press conference outlining the case. Mr. Foreman, who was charged with conspiracy, theft, and conflict of interest, was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

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Image of former House Democratic Leader Mike Veon, D-Beaver Falls, by Bradley C. Bower via Post-Gazette.

Post-Gazette: Legislators, staffers charged in bonus probe [with my audio]

Details of the long-rumored “Bonusgate” scandal dropped this afternoon. I helped a bit with the reporting for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story written by Dennis Roddy and was charged with cutting some audio for the paper’s Web site.

Hear Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett at his 2 P.M. news conference…

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Tom Corbett today filed charges against a dozen figures in the payroll bonus scandal, including former House Democratic Whip Michael Veon and current state Rep. Sean Ramaley.

Reports by two grand juries — one in Pittsburgh and another sitting here — laid out an array of accusations, including a conspiracy to deliver more than $1 million in state-paid bonuses to House employees who worked on political campaigns. Mr. Ramaley, 33, D-Economy, was accused of working full-time on his 2004 House campaign in Beaver County while drawing a taxpayer salary as a member of Mr. Veon’s staff.

Continue reading on More audio to follow.

Photo by Dennis Roddy, courtesy of the Post-Gazette.