Former longtime state House Democratic leader Bill DeWeese is out on bail days after he began serving a 2??- to five-year prison term for corruption.
Michael Bell, spokesman for the State Correction Institution in Camp Hill, confirmed late tonight that DeWeese was released on bail pending an appeal of his conviction.
DeWeese, 62, had reported to Dauphin County Prison in Harrisburg on Monday to begin his sentence.
Last week, Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover rejected DeWeese's motion to delay the start of his prison term until the judge decides if he can remain free on bail while appealing his conviction. That process was expected to take months.
DeWeese did not return a phone message seeking comment tonight.
The former Greene County lawmaker served in the House for 35 years, including two years as speaker.
In February, a jury convicted DeWeese of conspiracy, conflict of interest and three counts of theft for using public resources for political purposes. He kept his House seat for more than two months because the constitutional ban on felons serving in the state Legislature is not triggered until they are sentenced.
Despite his high-profile legal woes, DeWeese won more votes in the April 24 Democratic primary in the 50th House District than the combined totals of the two Republicans vying for the GOP nod.
Primary day was also the day DeWeese resigned from the House and was sentenced for his crimes.