The Department of Justice is probing a Pennsylvania contractor that has won millions in earmarks and contracts with the help of Rep. John Murtha, according to a new report.
The Washington Post reported Monday that federal investigators are looking into how Mountaintop Technologies got involved in distributing and monitoring local police grants.
The company has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to distribute the money, according to the article, but has received at least $36 million worth of earmarks and military contracts over the past eight years, with the help of Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and no competition.
According to the article, company executives have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Murtha's campaigns and often distributed the police grant funding on behalf of Murtha before fall elections, and the firm even hired the lobbying company where Murtha's brother worked.
Now we have a another company in Rep. Murtha's network of cronies who is getting no-bid contracts annually being investigated. Instead of launching an ethics investigation into Rep. Murtha, Speaker Pelosi is doing everything possible to prevent a spotlight from shining on Rep. Murtha's reprehensible behavior.
What's particularly troubling to me is that federal grant money was distributed by Mountaintop Technologies right before elections. If I were a cynic, I'd almost think that that sounds alot like taxpayer-funded walking around money. At minimum, the timely disbursement of grants right before an election served as a reminder to these organizations that Rep. Murtha was their sugar daddy in Washington.
Mountaintop Technologies founder David Fyock told the Post that his company won the contracts on merit. "We are pretty darn good at managing contracts," he said.
But law enforcement sources said the police grants drew attention because the firm was a defense company with little law enforcement experience.
Here's the opening paragraph of the Washington Post article:
In tiny, cash-strapped Monongahela, Pa., the city clerk was stunned when federal investigators arrived this fall with a subpoena seeking information on a crime-fighting grant she'd never heard of. She takes pride in tracking every dollar in the municipal budget.
Over the past five years, a local defense contractor with close ties to Rep. John P. Murtha, a Democrat who has represented southwestern Pennsylvania for three decades, has selected several small police departments in the region to receive $10 million in Justice Department grants.
The company, Mountaintop Technologies, was selected by the lawmaker in a series of earmarks to hand out and monitor the grants. As it distributed the money to the departments, the firm would explain each time that it was arriving through the largess of Murtha, often just before fall elections.
My cynical said asks whether Murtha's campaign pay Moutaintop Technologies for the PR work they did on his behalf right before elections. It's one thing to hand out these grants. It's another to hand them out with the reminder that a vote for Rep. Murtha will help the grant money flowing.
Let's take this into account, too:
Once she learned from the investigators that Monongahela's police department was getting money outside of normal channels, City Clerk Carole Foglia was disturbed. "I wasn't happy with the situation at all," Foglia said. "I didn't want to be involved in anything that was done improperly, because that's not the way I work in my office. And this was improper. No question about it."
Let's ask these questions of Rep. Murtha:
Why are these grants disbursed right before an election? When did Mountaintop Technologies get these checks? Did Mountaintop Technologies hold these grant checks until the fall for maximuim impact on elections?
It's time we got some answers. Hopefully, the DoJ's investigation won't be short-circuited by Eric Holder or other political appointees in DoJ.
Technorati: Corruption, John Murtha, Mountaintop Technologies, DoJ, Walking Around Money, Elections, Cronyism, RICO, Investigation
Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog