Northeast Times

Editorial: Perzel ruined Perzel

Was John M. Perzel, the once mighty state rep­res­ent­at­ive from Lex­ing­ton Park, really rep­res­ent­at­ive of the 62,000 or so res­id­ents of his 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict? You’d bet­ter hope not. After all, most of those people are not crooks.
Mr. Perzel, who in ex­actly two weeks will head to pris­on fol­low­ing sen­ten­cing for pub­lic cor­rup­tion, was not rep­res­ent­at­ive of the good folks in his dis­trict or the North­east as a whole.
By us­ing tax­pay­er money to ad­vance his polit­ic­al ca­reer, Mr. Perzel dis­graced him­self, his friends, his fam­ily, his once-good name and worst of all, the cause of pub­lic ser­vice. In the end, he proved to friends and foes alike that he was just an­oth­er self-serving, power-hungry ego­ma­ni­ac who got by with a lot of help from his charm, per­son­al­ity and just plain dumb luck.
Yes, Rep. Perzel did some good things for the people of his dis­trict dur­ing his 32 years in of­fice, but that was his job — to help them. But boy, did he let the people down. He should have resigned be­fore los­ing an au­da­cious bid for re-elec­tion in 2010, but again, his ego got the best of him. His soiled name re­mained on the walls of a com­munity cen­ter in May­fair far longer than it should have.
John Perzel pleaded guilty to just eight of the 82 counts that pro­sec­utors lodged against him in 2009. What happened to the oth­er 74 counts? Why did they ma­gic­ally dis­ap­pear in his plea bar­gain? Why didn’t the pro­sec­u­tion de­cline a plea bar­gain and try him on all counts? Was the evid­ence in those 74 dropped counts so flimsy?
Per­haps the pub­lic will nev­er find out, but at least North­east Phil­adelphia’s in­fam­ous crook will have some plenty of down time in which to pon­der his be­ha­vi­or. ••
Send let­ters to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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