Notable quotes from the Bonusgate trial
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A selection of quotes from the Bonusgate trial:
"I felt like we were doing something wrong, but I felt like I had to do what I had to do for my job."
– Witness Esther Reever, a caucus legislative assistant.
"It was made clear that there was going to be a problem and it was going to be a big one. ... We were all frantic. It was just a mess."
– Karen Steiner Blanar, testifying about caucus reaction to a 2007 story in the Harrisburg Patriot-News that revealed the bonus program.
"How many times do you have to get hit in the face with a brick to know what's what?"
– Prosecutor Patrick J. Blessington during closing argument
"It's against the law, a crime, to use taxpayer money to help somebody win an election."
"No one can say Mike Veon and his staff didn't do their [legislative] work. It all got done, all of it."
– Dan Raynak, attorney for former state Rep. Mike Veon
"Once we began rewarding people financially for doing it (campaigning) ... the level of volunteerism hit the ceiling."
– Former high-ranking caucus staffer Mike Manzo, testifying as part of a plea agreement
"I'm knowledgable about all of the things that I know about."
– Foreman caucus attorney Jeff Foreman, testifying as part of a plea agreement.
"I needed a place to be parked while I was waiting to go out on a campaign."
– Witness Dan Wiedemer on why he went on state payroll between political jobs for the House Democratic Campaign Committee.
There have been "too many instances of rude, discourteous, obstructive and even obnoxious behavior in this courtroom."
– Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis admonishing attorneys.
"I had some inability to perform so I was being treated for it."
– Mr. Manzo on when and why he stopped having sex with a mistress for whom he created a state job.
"I was trying to hide things that were potentially problematic to me. ... I was a little rattled at the time. I was scared. I didn't know what was going to happen next."
– Mr. Manzo on why he destroyed evidence
"We knew what we were doing was wrong. We weren't supposed to be doing it at the Capitol."
– Former staffer P.J. Lavelle, who testified as part of a plea agreement.
""The nature of their work was largely political. ... Almost entirely."
– Former caucus attorney Jeff Foreman describing the jobs of defendant Stephen Keefer and witness Patrick "P.J." Lavelle, who pleaded guilty in the Bonusgate case.
"With a knife you can carve a turkey or you can stab or neighbor. If P.J. Lavelle took a carving knife out of Steve Keefer's drawer and killed someone with it, that's on P.J. Lavelle."
– William Fetterhoff, defense attorney for Mr. Keefer.
"Because Steve Keefer is not a hero does not mean he is a criminal."
– Mr. Fetterhoff
"I understand the charges the law said I did. I understand I admitted to that, but in my heart, that's not what God said I did."
– Former caucus personnel director Earl Mosley on why he pleaded guilty in the Bonusgate scheme.
"Lies were put forth to Mr. Corbett, yes."
– Scott V. Brubaker, who testified as part of a plea agreeement, describing an attempt to persuade Attorney General Tom Corbett not to investigate.
"From Day 1, you've been involved in lies, and now you want this jury to believe anything you say. You see my problem with that, sir?"
– Bryan Walk, attorney for Brett Cott, cross-examining Mr. Brubaker.
"I have a big list of employees who will get bonus payments for their participation in the special election."
– E-mail message to Mr. Brubaker from secretary Lauren McClure in 2005.
Yikes! Be careful what you write. The less said about the reason the better."
– Mr. Brubaker's written response to Ms. McClure's e-mail.
"H. William DeWeese was a frivolous and negligent majority leader, a frivolous and negligent administrator."
– Mr. Fetterhoff on the former House majority leader, who defense attorneys say is ultimately responsible for bonuses between 2004 and 2006.
"It's not a couple of phone calls. ... It's like doing 10 weddings, and it's all on the taxpayers' dime."
– Mr. Blessington
"This is hard. ... We're turning on each other."
– Juror to judge on March 17, the fourth day of deliberations
"We are having spiritual and moral issues that I do not know how to resolve. There are barriers and biases that cannot be hurdled."
– Jury foreman in a March 19 note to Judge Lewis
"I compliment the jury on a fine job they did, but on a personal level I'm very disappointed. It was a difficult case. It involved some tough issues and I think the jury did the best they could under the circumstances."
– Mr. Raynak in an interview after his client was found guilty of 14 out of 59 criminal counts
First Published March 23, 2010 2:56 pm