Fumo to Judge: Let Me Off Early, Judge to Fumo: No Way

Break out the smallest violin ever for the state senator turned ex-con.

Like most people who are convicted of breaking federal law, former state senator Vincent J. Fumo received a sentence that included time in federal prison as well as supervised probation after release. And now that Fumo has completed just over one of his three years of probation, he thinks he should be allowed to end it early and be free and clear. Well, a federal judge just said no.

Earlier in March, Fumo’s renowned attorney Dennis Cogan filed a motion for early termination of probation with Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter, the same judge who sentenced Fumo to 55 months in federal prison and three years probation and ordered him to pay some $4 million in fines and restitution after Fumo was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice. Cogan gave the judge a list of reasons why Fumo should be let off early, including a number of “serious financial and medical setbacks,” such as the loss of his $119,000 annual pension (which, of course, he wouldn’t have lost had he not screwed up so royally) and bouts with prostate cancer and heart problems.

“His punishments have been considerable and he has suffered much,” wrote Cogan. “He is now almost 72 years of age. His health is not good and his financial losses have been considerable.”

But the judge wasn’t impressed.

On Thursday, Buckwalter issued his ruling denying Fumo’s request, in part because Fumo hadn’t completed his full sentence of 500 hours community service, which he had been doing at Project H.O.M.E.

“I am nonplussed by such a motion being filed when defendant has not even completed one of the singularly most important conditions of his release — community service,” wrote Buckwalter. “Two hundred and eighty-five hours out of a mandated five hundred? Not even close. To say that this failure is disappointing is putting it mildly.”

Sorry, Vince. Better luck next time. [BigTrial.net]