August 20, 2009

Convicted pol throws going-away bash

Former Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent Fumo found something to celebrate as he prepares to serve a federal prison term -- his engagement.

Fumo, 66, celebrated with his fiancee, Carolyn Zinni, 51, and about 350 friends, relatives and local political heavies who gathered Wednesday evening at an Italian restaurant in South Philadelphia. Fumo told guests he and Zinni are turning a page.

The couple said they decided to become engaged during the July 4 weekend, after Fumo's conviction on corruption charges and less than two weeks before he was sentenced to 55 months in federal prison.

Fumo is scheduled to report to prison Aug. 31. The sentence is well below federal guidelines, but Fumo had little patience with critics who said it is too short.

I'd like those people to come with me for half the time and get their assessment, he said.

Earlier this week, Fumo's lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter to delay his surrender date. Federal prosecutors oppose the request, and the judge has not yet ruled.