There's little doubt Steve Stetler is well-liked, especially around the 95th House District, which he served as a Democratic state representative for 16 years.
"I've never found a person who has a bad thing to say about him," said former Gov. Ed Rendell, one of a parade of high-profile character witnesses who testified on Stetler's behalf during his Bonusgate-related trial.
Even a Republican, York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, took the stand this week to vouch for his high standing in our community.
Any why not?
Stetler did a lot over the years for York City and the surrounding area.
He secured funding that helped make Sovereign Bank Stadium, the Northwest Triangle Project and the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center possible.
He was instrumental in passing legislation that continues to provide incentives for businesses to clean up contaminated sites.
And in 2004 he pushed legislation that helped York City avoid financial problems by allowing the city more time to pay back borrowed bond money.
His conviction on all counts -- conflict of interest, criminal conspiracy and four theft charges -- might be a bitter bill to swallow around here.
It shouldn't be.
Stetler likely entered politics in 1991 with the best of intentions: hoping to make life better for the people in his community.
But somewhere along the way, a jury found, he lost sight of that goal, putting party politics ahead of his constituents.
Stetler denied that as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus' policy committee he used taxpayer-paid employees to carry out campaign work, including research designed to expose opposing candidates' weaknesses.
But seven men and five women didn't buy it.
They agreed with the prosecutor, senior deputy attorney general Michael Sprow: "This defendant used the public to benefit himself and his (political) party."
And now Stetler very likely will go to prison, as was the case with other Bonusgate figures, such as former Democratic Whip Mike Veon and former Democratic House Speaker Bill DeWeese.
A total of 25 people with ties to the state House Democratic and Republican caucuses were arrested during the Bonusgate investigation, now in its sixth year, according to The Associated Press. Thirteen Democrats, including Stetler, and nine Republicans were convicted or have pleaded guilty as a result of the probe.
Testimony from those trials revealed a culture of corruption at the top of both parties in Harrisburg, where power -- seizing it and holding on to it -- became the goal rather than governing.
It became such a priority these men and women were willing to break the law to achieve it.
Stetler's attorney, Joshua Lock, argued his client spent his first dozen years as a state representative without looking for any leadership jobs, and only sought a powerful position after being approached by colleagues to do so. He eventually won the position of policy chairman, unseating a Veon ally.
"They wanted someone with the temerity and integrity to stand up to Mike Veon," Lock said. "That's what they wanted, and that's what they got."
Perhaps in the beginning.
But rather than standing up to corruption and changing the culture, a jury found that Stetler simply joined the game.
Unfortunately, none of his good work can change that.