Murtha-Funded Firms Busted
Two firms funded with over $100 million in earmarks from the Democratic Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, John Murtha, were raided and temporarily shut down yesterday by the FBI and IRS. Surprised that you didn't hear about such big news? Well, it did manage to hit page A6 of the Wall Street Journal today (U.S. Raids Contractors Aided by Murtha):
Federal agents raided two small Pennsylvania defense contractors that were given millions of dollars in federal funding by Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the defense appropriations committee and one of the most powerful men in Congress.Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems shut down for the day after the raid by officers from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an Internal Revenue Service criminal unit.In a statement Thursday night, the Pittsburgh U.S. attorney confirmed that offices in Windber, Johnstown and Summerhill were raided "as part of an ongoing investigation." A second federal official said that ties to lawmakers would be examined as part of the probe.
The CEO of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems, the two firms raided by the feds yesterday, was the director of a non-profit group that the Washington Post described in 2006 as "a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists with business before Murtha's defense appropriations subcommittee, and for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money obtained by Murtha."The non-profit's board of directors included three lobbyists from KSA Consulting, a firm which employed former Murtha staffer Carmen Scialabba (who created the non-profit) and Kit Murtha, the congressman's brother.