Ex-state lawmaker Stetler gets new trial in corruption case

Stephen Stetler arrives for an arraignment, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A former legislator and state revenue secretary is getting a new trial, nearly five years after being convicted of a scheme to use legislative staff to perform campaign work.

A county judge in Harrisburg last week said former Rep. Steve Stetler’s lawyer shouldn’t have allowed the trial judge to meet alone with jurors during deliberations.

The decision gives Stetler a new trial and vacated charges of theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest.

The 67-year-old Stetler is a York Democrat who once held a key role in managing political campaigns for the state House Democratic caucus.

He was sentenced to 18 months to five years in prison.

The ruling by Dauphin County Judge John Cherry was on Stetler’s appeal under the Post-Conviction Relief Act. Stetler lost a previous round of appeals.

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