Wednesday, May 31, 2006

FBI arrests aides in Pa. Democrat probe

The feds have apparently been investigating a top Democrat in the Pennsylvania state Senate, and now two Democratic aides have been charged with obstruction of justice:
The FBI arrested two men who did computer work for a powerful state senator Wednesday on charges that they permanently deleted e-mails to thwart a federal investigation.
Leonard P. Luchko and Mark Eister performed electronic "wipes" of computers at Sen. Vincent J. Fumo's Senate offices, his home at the New Jersey shore and at a nonprofit with deep ties to Fumo, authorities allege.

"This was a deliberate, systematic and ultimately successful effort to interfere with a federal investigation," U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said. "We have to assume that valuable information is lost forever." ...

Luchko and Eister, employees of a state Senate entity that provides computer services to its Democratic members, are charged with obstruction of justice.
The investigation centers on whether Fumo used his office to extort corporate donations for the Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, which benefits Fumo's South Philadelphia district. Investigators are trying to find out if the senator "benefited both politically and personally from expenditures made" by the nonprofit, according to court documents.
Hmmm. That name sounds familiar so I searched and ... sure enough, we reported more than three months ago:
The pay-to-play scandal keeps making news regularly in Philadelphia. In just the past week, there was a plea deal in the Rick Mariano bribery case, and the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal by powerful Democratic state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo:

The appeal was related to an FBI search last year of Fumo's offices and the offices of Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods. The nonprofit, its leaders and the senator have been the focus of a federal investigation into whether the charity illegally engaged in political activity. ...

This all goes back to the infamously corrupt Democratic government under Philadelphia Mayor John Street, where something like a dozen people have already been convicted in the "pay to play" scandal. The Philadelphia scandal is one of several instances of municipal corruption described in Chapter 8 of DONKEY CONS, which examines how crooked Democrats and their liberal policies have made urban America a nightmare for the poor.

Also blogging: Assorted Babble, Left Wing = Hate ....

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