Ex-Pa. lawmaker’s aide pleads in grant fraud case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former aide to a state lawmaker accused along with a Philadelphia traffic court judge with alleged misuse of state grant money has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Federal prosecutors say 58-year-old Lorraine Dispaldo, an aide to Democratic state Rep. William Keller, entered the plea to mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, bankruptcy fraud and tax counts. She will be sentenced Sept. 16.

Defense attorney Catherine Recker called the plea her client’s first step to making amends and focusing on her family “which means everything to her.”

Dispaldo and Judge Robert Mulgrew, who was suspended following the indictment, were accused last fall of having signed grant applications for two community organizations that prosecutors allege funneled the money to friends and relatives.

Keller hasn’t been charged with any crime.

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