State Sen. LeAnna Washington Charged With Theft, Conflict Of Int - KMSP-TV

State Sen. LeAnna Washington Charged With Theft, Conflict Of Interest

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Montgomery County State Senator Leanna Washington has been charged with theft. She is also accused of intimidating and verbally abusing staffers for her own political and personal gain.

On Wednesday, State Senator LeAnna Washington arrived surrounded by her family as she surrendered to face criminal charges late Wednesday. A state grand jury has charged the veteran lawmaker with theft of services and conflict of interest involving alleged improper use of her senate staff.

"Are you going to fight the charges," she was asked by reporters. "Yes I am," she said.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane says Washington used staff at her offices in Philadelphia and Abington for her own personal benefit, costing taxpayers $30,000 to $100,000.

"Do you have any comment on the charges," FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser asked the senator, "No I don't," Washington replied.

According to the charges, Washington, who was elected to the Senate in 2005, used intimidation and verbal abuse to get staffers to produce fundraising invitations, stuff envelopes and perform campaign work on state time. Investigators say she even cut staffers pay or fired them if they didn't cooperate.

"It's just terrible, it's not a good thing for our city, we need people who help us, not hurt us," taxpayer Stacie Morgan told FOX 29 outside the senator's Philadelphia office.

"We need to put all of them in jail," said another voter.

Taxpayers and voters in the senator's fourth district were not happy with the longtime Democratic lawmaker.

"They get into office, they get greedy okay and we the taxpayers we lose," said Hubie Rice.

"That's just using up the taxpayers money when it could be going to other things that are needed, our schools, our streets," Morgan added. "It just makes you really angry that you trust them, you vote for them and then they do this, it's hurtful."

Washington's lawyer left without comment. She was released without bail. Her preliminary hearing is set for March 26th. She could get 12 years in jail if convicted on the felony charges.

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