With reporting from Romy Varghese
While in the U.S. House, Mark Critz of Pennsylvania inserted a speech into the Congressional Record praising his largest lifetime campaign contributor, a defense contractor raided by law enforcement authorities earlier this month.
Critz, who lost his re-election bid in 2012 and is now seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania, marked the 25th anniversary of Concurrent Technologies Corp., based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in his former congressional district.
Federal agents raided the firm Sept. 10. David Hicton, U.S. Attorney General in Pittsburgh, said in a statement that agents from the Defense Criminal Investigative Services, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and Air Force Office of Special Investigations had search warrants “as part of an ongoing federal investigation.”
Concurrent employees contributed $64,350 to Critz since he first ran in 2010 to succeed the late John Murtha, who he worked for as district director. That was Critz’s biggest single source of campaign funds, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks donations.
He saluted the company on Aug. 28, 2012, in comments placed in the Congressional Record. “Because of their efforts, the United States military is better equipped to serve our great nation and the United States is a safer place to live for all of us,” Critz’s statement read.
Critz didn’t respond to three messages on his mobile phone and two at his Johnstown home.
After winning the special election to succeed Murtha, Critz was elected to a full term in 2010 and then defeated Rep. Jason Altmire in the Democratic primary when their districts were merged following reapportionment before losing to Republican Keith Rothfus in 2012.
Both Critz and Murtha worked to provide federal funding known as earmarks to Concurrent. About 95 percent of its revenue in the year ending June 2012 came from government grants, according to the nonprofit company’s filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
Mary Bevan, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that it “will continue to cooperate with government investigators.” CTC doesn’t support political campaigns or candidates. Individual employees do “on a personal basis,” she said.
The House Ethics Committee in February 2010 cleared Murtha, who died in February of that year, and six other House members of allegations that they traded earmarks for clients of the now-defunct lobbying firm Paul Magliocchetti and Associates Group in exchange for campaign donations. The PMA Group had represented Concurrent since 1999 until the lobbying firm shut down in 2009 amid a federal investigation.
Magliocchetti in 2010 pleaded guilty to charges that he gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions and made false statements to the Federal Election Commission.
Former Rep. Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican, praised financier R. Allen Stanford in the Sept. 15, 2005, Congressional Record. Ney later resigned his post and served time in prison after admitting that he accepted gifts from former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors. Separately, Stanford was convicted of investment fraud.