Could the Feds be closing in on Jack Murtha?
Late last month, federal agents raided the offices
of a Pennsylvania defense contractor with close ties to the longtime Democratic congressman.
And now, ABC News has reported
that, back in November, the FBI raided the Virginia headquarters of a lobbying firm founded by a former Murtha aide.
The firm, known as the PMA Group, specializes in winning earmarks for its clients.
ABC reports that last year, "it brought in $13.8 million in revenue representing dozens of defense companies and contractors, many of which have donated heavily to Murtha." Murtha has helped the firm win millions in earmarks, according to ABC. And much of PMA's business comes from small defense contractors based in Murtha's district.
The former Murtha aide who founded the firm, Paul Magliochetti, has reportedly been talking to his colleagues about an arrangement that would see him leave. Reports ABC:
Asked whether these discussions were related to the raid, [a PMA spokesman] declined to comment.
And another former Murtha aide, Julie Giardina, also works at PMA.
Last month, the FBI and IRS raided the offices of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems. Murtha has reportedly channeled $100 million in earmarks to those companies.
A spokesman for Murtha denied that his boss had been contacted by the FBI, and said the congressman did not believe he was a target of the investigation.
Still, something tells us we haven't heard the last of this.Late Update
: The Hill reports
that PMA is "disintegrating", with several of its top lobbyists telling colleages and associates they plan to leave and start a new firm.
And it looks like the issue of PMA founder and former Murtha aide Paul Magliocchetti's continuing presence at PMA is at the center of the move:
The lobbyists resigned from PMA last Friday after they were unable to strike a buyout deal with Paul Magliocchetti, the founder of PMA Group, who indicated earlier this year he wanted to retire.
The new group is called Flagship Government Relations and is being billed as a business development and lobbying firm, The Hill has learned.
The paper adds:
Among those who are starting the new consultancy are Kaylene Green, a former Senate Armed Services Committee staffer and congressional Navy liaison; Sean Fogarty, a former Senate Navy liaison; Rich Efford, a longtime appropriations staffer who worked for former Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.); and Dan Cunningham, who served as the director for the Army's congressional liaison team and has a close relationship with Murtha, according to multiple K Street sources.