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October 25, 2011

Confirmed: Dirty, Corrupt Congressman Who Everyone Suspected Was Dirty and Corrupt Was In Fact Dirty and Corrupt

Jack Murtha is now dead (and may Hell take him) but his legacy of graft lives on.

Last week’s release of FBI documents finally put in writing what nobody had ever said on the record: The FBI suspected that former Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and lobbyists close to him were running a scheme to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits to benefit the lawmaker’s friends and former staffers.

The corruption didn't die with Murtha, because his longtime staffer Mark Critz took over the graft position. And it seems extraordinarily unlikely that he could have worked so long for the corrupt Congressman without knowing about the scheme to divert taxpayer money to friends of Murtha's (who would then kick Murtha back his vig).

Furthermore, we need to know why the FBI opened, but then closed, so many investigations into this bloated shitbag of theft.

They were always interested in Murtha's dealings. But they apparently closed every investigation without bringing charges.

Or at least not charges against Murtha.

n 2009, the Justice Department filed charges against Coherent CEO Richard Ianieri, alleging that he had used money from the Mobile Gateway project to buy products unrelated to the contract from several companies, including KSA clients VidiaFusion and Gensym.

VidiaFusion had no website, no telephone number and no email address. The address listed for VidiaFusion on the lobbying registration form submitted by KSA is a condominium building in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Florida secretary of state has no record of a company called VidiaFusion. The government charged that Ianieri paid VidiaFusion $274,660 for “software” that was unrelated to the Gateway project and was never used.

Ianieri also transferred $300,000 to Gensym, another KSA client, which was passing funding through to a subcontractor called Applied Technology. The FBI described Applied Technology as “an example of a KSA-created business that acquired federal earmarks and has no legitimate purpose.”

The FBI records indicate two KSA lobbyists were on the Applied Technology payroll, though their names have been redacted.

Ianieri pleaded guilty to filing false purchase orders and accepting a kickback from another company close to Murtha, Kuchera Defense Systems, and was sentenced to a fine and probation.

Coherent did deliver to the Air Force a vehicle-based communications system envisioned in the original “Mobile Gateway” earmark.

Mark O’Hair, an Air Force contracting official who oversaw the Gateway contracts, and contractor Richard Schaller, who was paid by Ianieri, both went to jail for their roles in the scheme, but nobody else was ever charged. There is no evidence that the FBI conducted a serious probe of who in Murtha’s office might have known about the bogus earmarks.

Roll Call reported in March 2010 that KSA had folded. Stalder and other KSA lobbyists appear to have created a new firm called Edge Solutions, but the phone number at that office is now disconnected and emails sent to Edge Solutions went unanswered.

Who told them to lay off?

The insidious thing about corrupt bastards like Murtha is that, due to their power, they wind up corrupting so many around them.

We need a reckoning. The FBI needs to know that "But he's an important Congressman!" is not an adequate excuse for laying down on an investigation.


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posted by Ace at 12:55 PM

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