Strange News

Criminal history on Pennsylvania Capitol portraits

Posted July 16

— The portraits of three former Pennsylvania House speakers and one former top state senator hanging in the Capitol's marble corridors each have new information to tell visitors: their criminal histories.

Plaques that add those details were hung Tuesday.

Aides to the current House speaker and presiding senator say the new plaques are intended to keep the portrait tradition intact while addressing criticism that the portraits of convicted former lawmakers shouldn't be displayed near the likes of Ben Franklin.

For instance, ex-House Speaker John Perzel's plaque now reads, "Mr. Perzel was defeated for re-election to the House in November 2010, prior to pleading guilty to a variety of corruption related charges, and was sentenced to prison on March 30, 2012."

The other three men also went to prison on corruption-related charges.

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