By Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A former high-ranking Pennsylvania lawmaker who was convicted of corruption will be released from state prison this week.

Mike Veon, a former Beaver County Democrat, will be released from a state prison in Somerset County on Thursday after nearly five years, according to a state corrections spokeswoman.

Veon, 58, was convicted in 2010 and sentenced by a Dauphin County judge to six to 14 years for directing a program that rewarded legislative staffers who campaigned for Democrats with $1.4 million in taxpayer-funded bonuses. The conviction was part of the state attorney’s general probe into corruption in the Legislature.

He was also convicted of charges related to the misuse of grants directed to his nonprofit organization, Beaver Initiative for Growth, in 2012. A judge had sentenced him to an additional one to four years.

Veon served 22 years in the state House before losing a re-election bid in 2006. He was elected by House Democrats as their whip in 1998, one of the highest-ranking positions in the caucus, and helped negotiate key pieces of legislation, including a law passed in 2004 that allowed casinos to operate in the state.

His attorney said there will not be a statement until he is released.

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