Rachel Hursh Manzo joined the House Democratic staff some years back -- a striking blonde, known for hard work, a love of politics and yet an ability to come across as pleasant --- not always an easy task amid the sharp elbows of Harrisburg.
Rachel Hursh Manzo
Two years ago, she married Michael Manzo, the top aide to House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese, and a rising man in the power circles of Harrisburg.
Mrs. Manzo spent some time as a researcher and, later, was assigned to the tourism committee then headed by State Rep. Frank LaGrotta, D-Ellwood City.
It was in that role that Mrs. Manzo caught the eye of prosecutors when Mr. LaGrotta, under investigation for conflict of interest, told the state attorney general's office that she spent weeks away from the office working on the political campaign of State Rep. Mike Veon.
Mr. LaGrotta said he never signed a leave slip for Mrs. Manzo and her leave records were among those later discovered to have been shredded by a House intern.
Mrs. Manzo was among recipients of the larger year-end bonuses awarded in 2006.