HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania's top state senator says a breakdown in the state's grant programs evidently allowed the alleged misuse of money by a lawmaker.

Sen. Joe Scarnati, who also is the lieutenant governor, spoke Wednesday after new criminal charges were announced against former state House Democratic Whip Michael Veon.

Prosecutors say Veon misused some of the millions of dollars in state grants he directed to a nonprofit group he started.

Separately, a federal jury in Philadelphia convicted former Sen. Vincent Fumo last week in a similar case.

Fumo misused money from a nonprofit group he founded and had partly funded with state grants.

Scarnati says a state agency should ensure each grant recipient is qualified and every dollar is spent for a valid purpose.

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