Prosecutors Say Greed Caused Philly Corruption Case

Federal prosecutors who spent more than a month presenting a complicated, sometimes dry corruption (search) case against Philadelphia's former treasurer summed up their case with two words: "unrelenting greed."

The prosecutors told jurors Thursday that Corey Kemp (search) twice accepted $5,000 payments from the late Democratic fund-raiser Ronald A. White, along with dozens of fancy restaurant meals, a deck for his house and a trip to the 2003 Super Bowl in San Diego.

"Ladies and gentlemen, what you've heard in this case is a story, very simply, of corruption," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer said. "It is about unrelenting greed."

The prosecutors said phone calls secretly recorded by the FBI prove that in exchange for the gifts, Kemp let White control which companies received various financial services contracts from the city.

"It may say, 'Office of the Treasurer' on his door, but he is working for Ron White," Zauzmer said.

Defense lawyers say White and Kemp were good friends and deny that the gifts were attempts to influence city decisions.

They also suggested that Kemp held a low-profile job in city administration, and any influence that White gained over contracts were due to his close friendship with Mayor John F. Street (search).

The defense was scheduled to begin its closing arguments Friday. The jury is likely to begin deliberating early next week.

The FBI bugged Street's office while trying to learn whether he had agreed to trade contracts for campaign contributions, but the device was quickly discovered and recorded nothing of substance, agents said.

Street has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

White, a lawyer, was originally a lead defendant in the case but died in November while awaiting trial.

Four other people — two bankers, a fast-food franchise owner and White's mistress — are also charged.