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Mr. Marrone tried to use the email to help distinguish himself with the jury as a moral character. He said the response from Fumo was troubling.

“Yes, that would be nice but then it would cost us a lot more and CONFIDENTIALLY (only because I trust you) if we had such a person and tried to do some of the things that are political that we do, we would now have someone else ‘in our tent’ and we would be subject to his blackmail if they so chose to do it,” Fumo replied in an email to Mr. Marrone’s recommendations.

Although Mr. Marrone said he was concerned by the response, he was not troubled enough to avoid asking for a promotion just four months later, the emails reviewed by The Times show.

“I would also gladly except more of leadership role in the office if truly allowed to do so,” Mr. Marrone wrote in January 2001 as part of an office review. “My education and proven ability to get things done right could be utilized in a more effective and valuable manner to the Senator and the office.”

In 2002, Mr. Marrone also had no qualms about taking money from the nonprofit to use for his educational purposes. Mr. Marrone asked Fumo to help pay for his bar review course. Fumo agreed and paid him $8,000 from the nonprofit, which Mr. Marrone split with another aide also preparing to take the bar exam.

Mr. Marrone testified that he believed he paid taxes on the extra income, but he did not address the issue of taking money for his personal benefit from the nonprofit’s primary mission of helping blighted urban neighborhoods.

Just a ‘name only’ post

During his years as a legislative aide, Mr. Marrone agreed to become an officer at Hi Tech Ventures, a for-profit subsidiary under the umbrella of the Fumo-founded Citizens Alliance. The nonprofit became a conduit for public grant dollars to go directly to a project with which Hi Tech Ventures became involved.

While Mr. Marrone served at Hi Tech, the company received property in a development deal that was purchased using grant money routed through Fumo’s nonprofit, according to records. In 2006, after Mr. Marrone had left Fumo’s employment, Hi-Tech sold the property for a $2.8 million profit.

The city’s office of inspector general concluded in a report years later that the grant funds awarded in 1999 and 2001 were used instead for profit-generating purposes and demanded the return of the grant money.

Mr. Marrone testified that it was Fumo’s decision to have him as an officer at Hi Tech.

“All of the approvals still came from the senator, so my being named president was just being name only,” Mr. Marrone said in court.

Mr. Marrone testified that Hi Tech officials did not remove his name from paperwork after he resigned in 2002.

Such activities should figure into any federal background investigation, said Mr. Riley, the Maryland lawyer who specializes in clearance cases.

Under Defense Department rules, individuals with national security clearances are supposed to self-report whether they have been charged in any criminal matter or circumstances involving “acts of omission or commission that indicate poor judgment.”