He called the e-mails "a desperate attempt by the criminal defendants to try their case inthe media by cherry-picking documents they received in discovery and leaking them."The documents - more than 100 in all - were given to The Inquirer by Brett Cott, aformer top aide to House Democrats who faces 42 corruption counts. As required bylaw, state prosecutors provided the documents to Cott and the other defendants as partof the discovery phase of the case.Cott was among a dozen caucus insiders charged in July in the first wave of Bonusgateindictments. The 12 are accused of carrying out a conspiracy to use millions in stateresources and staff to further the campaigns of House Democrats.His attorney, Bryan Walk, said the documents "speak for themselves."Asked to elaborate, Walk said: "We're disappointed that Brett is charged for allegedlydoing political work on state time when it appears that there were other people who didthe same - or more things - on state time who weren't charged."DeWeese, in his prepared statement, said prosecutors had decided not to charge him"based on the totality of the evidence over a two-year period, which included thousandsof e-mails and other documents that we turned over to them and the sworn testimony of hundreds of witnesses whom we urged to cooperate."Corbett has said that the fact that DeWeese was not charged does not indicate he is inthe clear and that the investigation continues. Corbett spokesman Kevin Harleyreiterated that last week, but declined to comment further.
Fall 2006 was a critical period for Democrats who had been toiling for a decade toreclaim the majority in the state House.The Bonusgate indictment alleges that they pulled out all the stops, even paying acomputer consultant, Eric Buxton and his Harrisburg company, Govercom Strategies,hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars for political work.Prosecutors have argued that Buxton, son of a longtime state representative fromHarrisburg, was paid with tax dollars for government services while in reality he onlyworked on campaigns.Cott and three others were charged with theft stemming from the Govercomarrangement.DeWeese was mentioned in the indictment, but only in passing. It noted that virtually alldealings with Buxton among House Democrats were done through the state e-mail