Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Charged with Gambling, Corruption

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Charged with Gambling, Corruption

Article excerpt

Marc J. Gergely, a Democratic state representative from White Oak, has been charged by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office with various crimes relating to corrupt organizations and gambling devices.

Online court records show that a warrant for Mr. Gergely's arrest was filed Thursday with the West Deer office of District Judge Tom Swan, but the legislator is not yet in custody. The criminal complaint and affidavit supporting the charges were unavailable Monday night.

The nature of the alleged activity that led to the charges was not available from authorities late Monday. Neither Mr. Gergely nor his chief of staff could be reached Monday for comment. Home and cell phone numbers for Mr. Gergely did not work, and no one answered the door at his residence.

The six charges against Mr. Gergely stem from alleged actions on March 1, 2011, which is listed as the "offense date," according to a public online court docket. That docket shows that the charges include three felonies - two counts of corrupt organization and one count of dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity; as well as one misdemeanor count each of criminal attempt related to gambling devices, conspiracy related to gambling devices and a violation of election law.

Asked about the arrest warrant, Mr. Gergely's father-in-law, Wayne Short, said, "I know nothing about that."

Chuck Ardo, spokesman for Attorney General Kathleen Kane, declined comment. "I have no comment about Rep. Gergely at this point," Mr. Ardo said Monday evening.

It is not clear if the charges against Mr. Gergely are related to a gambling investigation of Ronald "Porky" Melocchi, a longtime friend of the legislator's father. Melocchi's million-dollar Mon Valley video gambling ring was dismantled by the attorney general's office in 2013.

A search warrant affidavit revealed that a wiretap in 2012 recorded Mr. Gergely telling Melocchi about a complaint his office had received about the kingpin's illegal video poker machines. Melocchi was later convicted.

Bill Patton, a spokesman for the House Democratic caucus, declined to comment Monday evening, saying he did not know anything about possible charges against the representative. …

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