Lawmaker Seeks Donations for Jailed Former State Rep

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MUNCY -- Former State Representative Brett Feese from Lycoming County is one of a number of Harrisburg power brokers who have gone down for corruption-related crimes in recent years.

He will spend the holidays in state prison.

That does not mean he will not get a little something from Santa, or in this case, from his old colleagues at the Capitol.

State Representative Garth Everett, a republican from Muncy, is catching some heat for an email he sent to fellow lawmakers.

The email asks for money for Everett's longtime friend, Brett Feese.

The thing is, Feese is serving time in state prison for corruption.

This time of year, there are lots of charities looking for a helping hand and a few bucks to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Now one area lawmaker is asking his colleagues to help Feese, who represented part of Lycoming County for years in the state capital but was convicted on corruption charges last year and is in prison.

An e-mail from current representative Garth Everett to state house republicans asks for donations to help out Feese whose legal defense "wreaked havoc" on his finances.

Everett's effort to help Feese is not sitting well with voters in the Muncy area.

"I wouldn't take money up for someone who's done wrong. That's my opinion," said Carol Ulrich of Elimsport.

"If he's behind something like this I probably won't vote for him again," added Martin Williams of Muncy.

"I can't speak for someone else's morals. I can speak to my morals, I certainly would not stoop to that," said Ken Miller of Muncy.

Representative Garth Everett said all he was trying to do when he sent out the e-mail to colleagues in Harrisburg, was trying to help a friend. After all, he and Feese go back to high school.

When Feese left office a number of years ago, Everett was the one who replaced him. Now Everett serves as state representative from this part of Lycoming County, and Feese is serving time behind bars at a state prison in Wayne County.

"I don't think this is wrong, I wouldn't have done it if I thought it was wrong, it wasn't supposed to be a secret," said Rep. Everett.

Even though Everett sent the email in confidence to some of his fellow lawmakers, he said people in his district have since offered to help Feese after the email became public.

"I'm not asking for Brett to be treated like a charity, if my friend from high school found out he was being thought of as a charity, he would not be happy to say the least."

Any donations would help Feese pay for things like postage or phone calls while he serves at least three more years in state prison, said Rep. Everett.