Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grand Old Police Blotter: Weldon, Thou Bad and Faithless Public Servant Edition

It's a family affair. It's a family affair.

For the East Coast Duke Cunningham, that is:

A federal investigation into alleged corruption by former ex- [sic] Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) appears to be closing in on the former lawmaker, as a Pennsylvania lobbyist close to Weldon was charged Tuesday with destroying evidence.

Taking a page from the "How Not to Handle Evidence" handbook, lobbyist Cecilia Grimes allegedly threw documents in the trash after they were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury and also threw away her Blackberry at a fast-food restaurant, on the theory that such a stealthy move would prevent the feds from reading her email.

Weldon earned the dreaded appellation "Representative A" in papers filed by the Justice Department in federal court, and his former chief of staff has already pleaded guilty to federal charges and is cooperating with the investigation. The ex-lawmaker, an expert on Russia, has been accused of steering federal money to Grimes' clients and of helping his daughter, Karen Weldon, win lobbying contracts with Russian companies and a controversial Serbian businessman.

Karen Weldon's home and that of another supporter of her father were raided by the FBI just weeks before the 2006 election. Weldon lost his reelection race that November to current Rep. Joe Sestak (D).

Weldon closed his campaign committee in May, after transferring nearly $80,000 to a legal expense trust.

Some of you might remember Crazy Curt from The Hunt For WMD. Maybe Karen's Russian clients were the ones who smuggled the WMD out of Iraq.

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