Pa. court disbars attorney over Bonusgate scandal

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has disbarred a Harrisburg attorney from practicing law in the state five years after his conviction in the Bonusgate scandal.

The state’s highest court ordered Jeff Foreman disbarred retroactive to November 23, 2009, the day he voluntarily surrendered his law license.

Foreman was a partner at the law firm of Foreman & Foreman while he was employed as chief of staff to Rep. Mike Veon, who was at the time Minority Whip of the House Democratic Caucus.

According to the court’s disciplinary board, Foreman was involved in assigning legislative staffers to perform campaign work on state time, and admitted he was involved in circulating a memo that authorized the payment of government funds as bonuses to those employees.

Foreman received bonuses of $14,000 in 2006, $5,565 in 2005, and $8,315 in 2004.

The board also found that Veon made arrangements for Foreman & Foreman to receive a monthly retainer of $4,000 from his nonprofit group to perform legal services he previously performed in Veon’s office as part of his legislative duties.

From January 2004 to March 2007, Foreman & Foreman received $156,000 from the nonprofit.

Foreman pleaded guilty in 2009 to theft, conflict of interest and criminal conspiracy charges. He was sentenced to 11-23 months at the Dauphin County Work Release Center and ordered to pay $28,695 in restitution to the state.

In its findings. the disciplinary board said Foreman failed to live up to the high standards of professionalism expected of lawyers who perform a public function.

It said Foreman willingly chose financial enrichment and involvement in an illegal scheme over integrity, and added that such a lawyer cannot be allowed to practice in Pennsylvania.

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