Former state Rep. Steve Stetler showed no emotion Wednesday morning as jurors pronounced him guilty of all charges against him.

They are conflict of interest, criminal conspiracy and the felonies of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, theft of services and theft by failure to make required disposition.

Stetler and his attorney, Joshua Lock, declined comment as they left Courtroom No.1 in Dauphin County Court.

Although he had no visible reaction, members of Stetler's family appeared close to tears as the verdict was read.

Stetler, 62, of York, remains free pending sentencing. Presiding Common Pleas President Judge Todd A. Hoover did not set a date, but said sentencing will likely happen in about 90 days.

Prison? K.

Stetler
Stetler
Kenneth Brown II, one of the senior deputy attorney generals who prosecuted Stetler, said his office has not yet decided whether to ask for a county or state prison sentence against the former state representative.

"The sentencing guidelines in this case ... call for prison time" on the theft convictions, Brown said, specifically somewhere between a nine- and 16-month minimum. The conspiracy and conflict of interest convictions call for sentences ranging from probation to nine months.

"There's a possibility the sentence could be served in a state facility," he said.

Brown also said the state Attorney General's Office has not determined what restitution it might ask for.

Asked whether Stetler could lose his pension, Brown said "obviously the final determination is up to the prison board," but noted that theft is one of the charges specifically listed as one that could jeopardize a convicted felon's pension status.

Brown said Wednesday's conviction shows the Bonusgate grand jury had an important job.

"This shows there was a pattern of corruption in the Pennsylvania state legislature," he said.

Jurors deliberated for about 7-1/2 hours on Tuesday, then for about 90 minutes Wednesday before reaching their decision.

The background: At the time of the misconduct, Stetler was chairman of the House Democratic Caucus' policy committee and also was operational chairman of the privately funded House Democratic Campaign Committee.

During five days of testimony in his Dauphin County Court trial, jurors heard from former Stetler aides and other state-paid employees of the House Democratic Caucus who testified they did political work on state time, and that Stetler knew about it.

They included former Dallastown resident John Paul Jones, who said he was away from his legislative job for weeks working on election campaigns around the state, including the re-election bid of former York Mayor John Brenner.

Rewarded: Jones testified party leaders -- including Stetler -- knew what was happening and not only condoned it, but rewarded it.

Jones and others testified they received large bonuses for "volunteering" their time on political campaigns. Jones said in 2006 he received a bonus of $12,500 that came with a letter from former House Democratic leader Bill DeWeese, suggesting he not tell anyone about it.

Other staffers who did political work on state time said they, too, received similar letters from DeWeese with their bonuses. That other political work included opposition research on political opponents, fundraising and everything from knocking on doors to stuffing envelopes, according to testimony.

Maintains innocence: Stetler maintains his innocence.

Several of his former staffers testified Stetler instructed them to keep their political volunteerism separate from their legislative work.

And Stetler testified he was unaware of the scheme.

About three dozen political, business and community leaders testified Monday as character witnesses for Stetler, including former Gov. Ed Rendell and York City Mayor Kim Bracey.

Revenue secretary: Rendell appointed Stetler to head the state Department of Revenue in November 2008. Stetler resigned from that post in December 2009, just hours before criminal charges against him were announced.

He represented York City and its surrounding area from 1991 to 2006 before stepping down to head the Pennsylvania Economy League. He served at the league until being chosen by Rendell to run the Revenue Department.

In 2002, Stetler became chairman of the House Democratic Caucus' policy committee. The same year, he also became operational chairman of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, which is a privately funded organization.

-- Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at 505-5429.