Perzel, former Pa. House speaker, released from prison

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Former Pennsylvania House Speaker John Perzel has been paroled from prison after serving nearly two years on a corruption conviction.

Officials said the 64-year-old Philadelphia Republican was discharged about 9:30 a.m. Thursday from Laurel Highlands Prison in Somerset.

Perzel, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy, conflict of interest and theft, also was ordered to pay $1 million in restitution. He’ll remain on parole, subject to special restrictions and monitoring, through April 2017.

Prosecutors say Perzel was the architect of a scheme to illegally pay millions of taxpayer dollars to out-of-state consultants who helped develop voter databases and special software to give Republican legislative candidates the electoral edge.

He was one of 25 Republicans and Democrats connected to the House of Representatives who were arrested in a state corruption investigation.

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