Embattled former Pennsylvania State Representative Marc Gergely is expected to be sentenced on his corruption charges as soon as next week. The 48-year-old Democrat from Allegheny County, PA served the state House for seven terms and is slated to appear in court on Monday, December 11th to face sentencing for his conviction of charges such as conspiracy and violating laws related to the state's campaign finance laws.
Gergely was accused of being a key part of a gambling ring. Working as a team of three, Gergely was the 'man in high places' that the other two accomplices would use to name drop in order to get their gambling machines installed into businesses. The other players were a liquor attorney, Louis Caputa, and a video gaming machine owner named Ronald "Porky" Melocchi.
In addition to the specific gambling ring scheme, Gergely was also found guilty of not reporting contributions given to him from Melocchi and another person in direct violation of campaign finance laws. Gergely struck a plea deal with prosecutors that included his resignation from the state House seat he held, and to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges. We await the actual sentencing to see if and what time he will serve.
To get a perspective of what Gergely is looking at, his cohorts received probation sentences with Caputo receiving five years and Melocchi receiving 10 years. It is not immediately clear if they received probationary sentences as part of a cooperation deal to stick it to Gergely. If not, then Gergely has a chance of walking away with probation as well, but there may be people in 'high places' who want him to be an example.
It is also of note that Gergely pushed for gambling expansion laws in his last few months that would essentially legalize the placement of gaming machines at truck stops. This law was passed and subsequently signed by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
I expect this law and seeming cooperation with the Democratic governor to receive some scrutiny as logic would have it that the convicted Gergely who colluded in a gambling machine placement scheme was the one who championed this bill.
Gergely's salary as a representative was more than $83,000 per year while he was serving, and allegedly committing crimes.
The seat that Gergely vacated may be filled via a special election on January 23, 2018, according to local reporters.