Philadelphia lawmaker found guilty of taking $4,000 bribe

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania lawmaker accused of accepting a $4,000 bribe from an undercover informant in 2011 was found guilty Wednesday in Dauphin County Court.

State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, a Philadelphia Democrat, was convicted of bribery, conflict of interest and failing to properly file a financial disclosure form, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

A sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 28, the DA’s office said.

Brown was charged along with Rep. Ron Waters, who pleaded no contest to charges he took $8,750 in bribes from the same informant.

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody expressed sadness at the verdict.
 
“The 10 years of good work that Vanessa did for her district still matters to many people but will be overshadowed by her conviction,” Dermody said in a press statement. “It’s unfortunate but that’s the way it is.”
 
Although Brown is unopposed for another term on next week’s election ballot, she must relinquish her seat in the House no later than the day she is sentenced.
 
“I haven’t yet spoken to Representative Brown but she will do what she must to conform to the rules of the House and also because it’s in the best interest of her constituents,” Dermody said.
 
“She waged a long legal battle and mounted a defense against the charges, but the verdict rendered today means she must face the consequences.”
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