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Senator Bob Mellow Charged with Corruption

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He was once one of the most powerful politicians in Pennsylvania. Now, former State Senator Bob Mellow is charged with corruption.

Federal prosecutors said he used his staff for personal and political business, all on the taxpayer dime.

U.S. Attorney Peter Smith announced the charges against Mellow, ending nearly two years of speculation since Mellow's home and office were raided by FBI agents in 2010.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, federal officials said Mellow is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and filing a false tax return.

According to court paperwork, the crimes were committed between 2006 and 2010 in Mellow's last term as a state senator. Officials said a grand jury found that Mellow and others were using Senate resources and Senate staffers to help raise campaign funds and that Mellow had used his Senate offices in Lackawanna County for campaign reasons.

He is also alleged to have supplied his staff to other politicians for campaign work.

"The information alleged that Mellow knowingly caused to be submitted and permitted to a willful blindness to be submitted job classification forms and reclassification forms that were false and misleading and that they failed to disclose that the Senate staff members were used to perform political and campaign work for the benefit of Mellow and candidates and causes he supported," U.S. Attorney Peter Smith said.

Bob Mellow did not show up to the federal courthouse. Officials said he will be arraigned at a later date, and officials with the U.S. Attorneys office said they have come to an agreement with Mellow. He will eventually plead guilty to the charges.