State Rep. Bill DeWeese likes to use big, unusual words when he's speaking to try to impress people with his vocabulary.
But the Greene County Democrat will be remembered by a shorter, more common word: crook.
DeWeese, former House speaker, was convicted Monday of conspiracy, conflict of interest and three counts of theft in connection with using public money and employees for political purposes. He was acquitted on one theft count.
DeWeese is the 21st person - 12 Democrats and nine Republicans - to have been convicted or pleaded guilty in a public corruption investigation that started with charges that bonuses were paid to legislative staffers for political work.
The investigation extended to the actions of both parties in the state House of Representatives. And the findings were an indictment on the integrity of House leaders of both parties and showed how they abused the public trust for their own political gains.
The jury didn't buy DeWeese's attempts to deflect the blame for wrongdoing on others.
Sadly, though, not even that was enough to get DeWeese to see the light. He said Monday he plans to appeal his conviction and will continue to seek re-election, even though convicted felons are not permitted to serve in the General Assembly.
Unless DeWeese has a change of heart, House members should vote to expel him as a legislator as soon as he is sentenced, currently scheduled for April 24. Officials also should move to strip DeWeese of his pension.
That can send a strong message that such a betrayal of the public's trust will not be tolerated.