PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia's former treasurer was convicted Monday of more than 20 counts for taking free trips, Super Bowl tickets and other lavish gifts from people seeking city contracts.
Jurors reached the verdicts on their 19th day of deliberations in the case, which stemmed from a wide-ranging federal probe of municipal corruption.
Corey Kemp (search), the former treasurer, was charged with corrupting his office by accepting thousands of dollars worth of gifts from a lawyer and prolific Democratic fundraiser named Ronald A. White (search). Investigators said Kemp got a new deck for his house, an all-expenses paid trip to see the 2003 Super Bowl, free meals and parties in his honor, along with $10,000.
The investigation made headlines on Oct. 7, 2003, when city police discovered a listening device that FBI agents had hidden above the desk of Mayor John F. Street (search). The mayor was not charged.
Two Commerce Bank executives, Stephen Umbrell and Glenn Holck, were accused of participating in the scheme to corrupt Kemp by arranging for their bank to overlook his bad credit history and give him a mortgage equal to 100 percent of the value of his new home.
All three were convicted of the main conspiracy charge. Two other co-defendants, Detroit businessman La-Van Hawkins and White's mistress, Janice Knight, were acquitted of that charge but convicted of lesser charges.
Hawkins was convicted of perjury and Knight was found guilty of making false statements.
The jury had signaled last week that it was having trouble reaching agreement on all counts.
On Thursday and Friday, jurors asked U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson and his staff a series of questions, culminating with a note that said, "What do we do if we have exhausted deliberations on one count and cannot reach unanimity?"
White died of cancer in November while awaiting trial.
The bugging came in the waning weeks of Street's hotly contested re-election campaign, but didn't hurt his standing in the polls. Street defeated his Republican opponent.
This spring, FBI (search) agents revealed that they had placed the bug in an attempt to learn whether Street and White had conspired to trade city contracts for campaign contributions.