Pennsylvania State Rep. Linked to Gambling Ring Awaits Sentencing
Marc Gergely, a former State Representative of Pennsylvania, awaits sentencing next week on charges related to his involvement in an illegal gambling ring. Gergely, 48, resigned after the allegations surfaced last month. His resignation came near the end of his seventh term in the House.
Gergely had little choice in announcing his resignation – the terms of his plea bargain included giving up his seat as Democrat Representative of Allegheny County. In exchange for his resignation, the deal downgraded Gergely charges to two misdemeanors; conspiracy and violating the state's campaign finance laws regarding cash contributions.
Gergely allegedly used his position as a State Representative to influence business owners to install illegal gambling machines. He is accused of partnering with liquor attorney Louis Caputo, and video gaming machine provider Ronald Melocchi.
With Gergely and Caputo on his side, Melocchi was able to convince store owners to pick up his gambling machines. Melocchi used his political connections to secure deals with store owners without beating the prices of other vendors.
Melocci held on to his friends in high places with cash contributions. Gergely is accused of accepting campaign contributions from Melocci, as well as passing on Melocci's illegal gambling funds to another Representative; both of which are in violation of state laws.
Gergely was a significant supporter of Pennsylvania's gambling expansion bill that passed in October. He pushed for the inclusion of gambling machines at truck stops, which made it into the final version of the law. Allegheny will hold a special election in January to select Gergley's successor.