Northeast: Former House Speaker John Perzel and His Fall from Power

Former House Speaker John Perzel pleaded guilty on Aug. 30 to eight charges of corruption, theft and conflict of interest for misusing public money for campaign purposes and then trying to cover it up.

Perzel, who represented the Northeast for more than 30 years in the state legislature, faces up to 24 years in prison.

Earlier this year, and Philadelphia Neighborhoods combined for a look at the Northeast since Perzel was indicted for corruption and lost his seat in 2010.

Perzel represented the 172nd District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives beginning in 1978. He served as speaker from 2003 to 2007 and become one of the state’s most powerful politicians in years. He was indicted for $1.87 million in deals he made with the data firm Aristotle Inc. He lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Kevin Boyle in 2010.

The series includes background on Perzel’s role in Northeast Philadelphia, his indictment and his influence in the Northeast.

The stories were funded by a grant by J-Lab. The stories can be seen at





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