Farnese Pleads Not Guilty on Bribery Charges

Federal prosecutors say the state senator paid $6,000 for a committee woman's support.

State Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, during a news conference Thursday, April 4, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

State Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, during a news conference April 4th, 2013, in Philadelphia. | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

State Sen. Larry Farnese pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that he made a $6,000 bribe for a Philadelphia committee woman’s support in a ward leader election, according to a report in the Inquirer.

Farnese, who was indicted in May, is accused of donating $6,000 in campaign cash to an education fund for the daughter of Ellen Chapman, a Democratic committee woman in Philly’s Eighth Ward, in exchange for her support for his campaign to become leader of that ward. Both parties were charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud, among other things. Farnese has maintained his innocence since before the charges were ever filed.

“Larry Farnese is 100 percent innocent of these novel charges and expects to be fully exonerated,” his lawyer, Mark Sheppard, said in a statement in May. “There is no allegation that Sen. Farnese misused his office or government funds nor that he accepted any gift or kickback. These charges have no connection whatsoever to his senatorial office.”

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