Sunday, November 12, 2006

Grand jury looks into Bob Casey's political associate.

Politics: Usually this sort of stuff comes up a couple of months after an election not a week.

A federal grand jury investigating the governor of Puerto Rico has subpoenaed records on dozens of Philadelphia-area companies and business executives who have contributed to his past campaigns or done business on the island. Robert M. Feldman, a longtime political associate of U.S. Sen.-elect Bob Casey Jr., and 10 of his companies are among those named on federal grand jury subpoenas being delivered across the Philadelphia region and in Puerto Rico. The subpoenas ask for all company documents relating to Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila. The FBI is investigating whether Vila steered government contracts to campaign contributors, or whether illegal donations were made to Vila's campaign, sources said. In all, the grand jury in San Juan is seeking records on 30 area firms owned by seven business executives, all of them substantial donors to Mayor Street and other area politicians. Among them are prominent developer Kenneth N. Goldenberg, the Parkway Corp., and Hill International of Marlton, N.J. "We responded," said Howard Trachtman, spokesman for Philadelphia's Parkway Corp., which received a subpoena from Puerto Rico. "We don't know what they're fishing for. They're certainly on a fishing expedition." Trachtman said the company told investigators that the firm and its president, Joseph S. Zuritsky, had no contact with Acevedo Vila - who has been under investigation for months by a federal grand jury in San Juan.

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