Subpoenaed Lobbyist Tosses Blackberry and Court Docs in Weldon Corruption Probe

July 15, 2008 2:26 pm

Cecelia Grimes, the lobbyist and “very good friend” of former Rep. Curt Weldon, has been charged with destroying evidence relating to the federal investigation of the former Pennsylvania congressman.

According to the court documents filed today, Grimes “placed her Blackberry device in a trash can near an Arby’s restaurant in Southeastern Pennsylvania. . . for the purpose of keeping the FBI from reviewing certain of her emails.”

But apparently Grimes creative disposal of evidence only extended to fast-food restaurants.

She also tossed the grand-jury subpoenas, Amtrak receipts, American airline boarding passes, and fourteen RSVP cards for a dinner honoring Weldon, which call for responses to be sent to Grimes. The FBI “surreptitiously retrieved” the garbage bags containing the documents from the trash cans next to Grimes’ house.

[Late Update]: In October, 2006, it was revealed that Weldon was under federal investigation for his alleged nepotism activities, notably his lucrative arrangements for his daughter. He lost re-election that November, and has since been working as a Chief Strategic Officer for Defense Solutions– an organization that has also come under media scrutiny for its shady arms deals.

Cecelia Grimes has been tied to Curt Weldon’s investigation before. Back in 2004, Ken Silverstein reported that Curt’s family had an uncanny ability to get hired by large defense companies.

In January 2006, Silverstein reported that Weldon’s ties also seemed to extend to more than just family– also helping, his close friend Cecelia Grimes. Grimes was realtor turned lobbyist at Grimes and Young, a small lobbyist firm comprised of only herself and Cynthia Young. Curiously, Young is the daughter-in-law of Rep. Bill Young (R-FL).

According to Silverstein’s piece, Grimes was retained by Oto Melara, a subsidary of an Italian defense firm with a $20,000 annual retainer. Weldon had previously championed the causes of Finmeccanica, Oto Merelara’s parent company, in legislation before the House Armed Services Committee, on which he used to be vice-chair.

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