Steve Stetler enters the Dauphin County Courthouse before his sentencing on Tuesday, Sept 25, 2012.
Steve Stetler enters the Dauphin County Courthouse before his sentencing on Tuesday, Sept 25, 2012. (Bill Kalina)

Former state Rep. Steve Stetler woke up Thursday morning in York County Prison, where he's expected to spend the next 14 months on his public corruption conviction.

Stetler, 63, of York, reported to prison on Wednesday as ordered by Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Todd A. Hoover, who presided over Stetler's June trial.

He was convicted of misusing public funds and state employees for legislative campaigns while chairman of the House Democratic Campaign Committee from 2002 to 2006. At the same time, Stetler also was chairman of the House Democratic Caucus' policy committee.

Stetler maintains his innocence.

When he imposed sentence on Sept. 25, Hoover ordered Stetler to spend 18 to 60 months in prison, but left open whether Stetler would serve his sentence in a county or state prison.

Sentence reduced: On Tuesday, Hoover filed an amended sentencing order reducing Stetler's punishment to 14 months to 48 months minus a day, according to court records.

The order also specifies Stetler will serve his time in York County Prison.

Hoover was out of town Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Stetler's defense attorney, Joshua Lock, declined comment and prosecutors from the state Attorney General's Office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Had Stetler been ordered to serve his original 18-month minimum in state prison, he would have been eligible for the Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive program, which would have slashed about 4-1/2 months off his minimum.


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The program offers nonviolent offenders a chance to reduce their prison sentences by completing recommended programs and having good conduct, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Inmates serving county sentences aren't eligible for RRRI, according to the department.

So the reduced minimum sentence is about the same as the time Stetler would have served had he been ordered to state prison.

No work release: Hoover's order also forbids Stetler from participating in York County Prison's work-release outmate program.

Also on Tuesday, Hoover denied a defense request that Stetler be allowed to remain free on bail, pending his appeal.

In the order, the judge noted prosecutors presented ample evidence to support the charges, "including emails demonstrating defendant's awareness of his wrongdoing."

"Defendant has enjoyed liberty since the time of the charges, post-verdict and sentencing," the order states.

Hoover's amended sentencing order did not modify Stetler's financial burden in the case, meaning he must still pay $466,621.45 in restitution and $35,000 in fines.

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

Stetler 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 Gov. Ed Rendell to run the state Revenue Department.

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

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.