Court hears details of Fumo's Verizon demands

Here's a follow-up on an item from Tuesday: Daniel Whelan, the former president of Verizon Pennsylvania, testified in the federal corruption trial of former Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Fumo this week. Whelan said that Fumo, who backed a plan requiring structural separation of Verizon's wholesale and retail operation, tried to shake him--and Verizon--down back in 2000.

Though Whelan's allegations are not among the federal charges Fumo currently is facing, prosecutors had Whelan testify to what they say is a relevant story, that Fumo asked Whelan to have Verizon deposit $15 million in a bank owned by the Fumo family, contribute $15 million to his favored non-profit agency, and to spend another $2.5 million with Fumo's law firm.

Sounds like Fumo was taking lessons from politicians in my home state of Illinois, where we do things the Chicago Way. Well, the new Chicago Way has less to do with morgues than alleged bribes, but you get the idea. What's a poor telco to do?

For more:
- The Philadelphia Inquirer has this report

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