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March 27, 2015

Judge denies Fumo's request for early release from probation

Former state senator required to finish community service hours

A motion to get former Pennsylvania state Sen. Vince Fumo out of his supervised release early was denied Thursday, according to Big Trial

Fumo's lawyer Dennis Cogan filed the motion on March 21, citing the financial losses and health issues suffered by the former senator as punishment enough. However, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter wasn't moved by the argument, noting that Fumo has only finished 285 of the 500 required service hours he is supposed to complete as a part of his sentence. 

Fumo, who served South Philadelphia's 1st Senatorial District for 30 years, was originally sentenced in 2009 and was given a longer sentence in 2011 in a corruption case where he was convicted on 137 counts.

He has already served his 61 months of time in federal prison and paid the full amount of $4 million in fines and restitutions. The motion asked to cut short by nearly two years his sentence of  three years of supervised release.

Fumo has reportedly not kept up the required pace of weekly community service hours to fulfill his obligations since taking time off for health issues, which included undergoing heart-bypass surgery and being diagnosed with prostate cancer. 

Not only was the motion to release Fumo early from his probation denied, but Buckwalter said he could face more problems if the community service was not completed, Big Trial reports: 

"More to the point, such a failure to comply with the terms and conditions of supervised release may result in a violation of that supervised release with all the attendant consequences of such a violation," the judge wrote in his order. 

Read the full story from Big Trial here