HARRISBURG, Pa. — A former Pennsylvania lawmaker who served prison time for corruption has won his appeal to get his $20,000-a-month pension restored.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported Tuesday the State Employees’ Retirement System board voted 6-5 to return former Democratic State Sen. Robert Mellow’s pension.

Mellow lost the retirement benefit when he pleaded guilty in May 2012 to allegations that he used taxpayer-funded staff to work on political campaigns. After serving for 40 years, the Scranton-area legislator was entitled to $246,000 a year.

His lawyers argued his crime didn’t compare to the state crimes listed under the pension forfeiture law.

A board spokeswoman says they struggled with the decision. All 11 members declined comment or were unable to be reached.

Mellow’s lawyer says he is “pleased that the law was followed.”


Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com