Judge Rejects Beeman's Asperger's Argument - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Judge Rejects Beeman's Asperger's Argument

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Erie County Councilman Ebert Beeman asked a judge today to extend his time before he has to report to prison. That request, however, was denied.

Beeman, through his attorney, says he was recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. He claims to have had the illness, perhaps, all his life.  His attorney, Jeffrey Del Fuoco, argued in court that Asperger's affected his decision making when he decided to plead guilty on Social Security Fraud charges.  Asperger's Syndrome is described as a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate with others.

Beeman was sentenced on July 20 to one year and one day in prison. He is free until he reports to prison later this month.  It was after the sentence was handed down, that Beeman was examined by a psychologist. Del Fuoco, tried to convince Judge Sean McLaughlin to delay the time Beeman has to report to prison.  Del Fuoco says he wants Beeman's plea to be wiped out, and for a jury trial to take place.

However, the judge said no.  The prospects of County Councilman Ebert Beeman going to federal prison, are becoming very real.

"He is holding up fine," said Del Fuoco. "Like anybody, obviously he's not happy with the prospect of going to jail. It's been my experience with Mr. Beeman that he's a very resilient, tough guy, and that he has tried to weather this storm and represent his constituents despite all this stuff. I believe he'll be fine."

Beeman must report to the Federal Prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, near Johnstown, on August 27.  Del Fuoco says Beeman will remain an Erie County Councilman until he is removed from office.  He's not going to resign.  A court hearing will probably have to be held on that matter. It's unknown how long that process will take.









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