It looks as if the King of pork need should be looking over his shoulder, because the law is getting closer and closer to his swine-hooves. The latest revelation involves Gaucherie Defense Systems a company that has received almost $15 million dollars in Murtha earmark-directed defense contracts and most coincidentally has donated $60,000 to the pork-king’s campaign committee. Allegations of fraud have caused the company to be banned from receiving any new Navy contracts. Murtha must be feeling the heat because when he was asked about Kuchera Defense Systems during a press opportunity he had a hissy fit:
Defense contractor with ties to Murtha suspended
By DAN NEPHIN and PETE YOST – 3 hours ago
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania defense contractor to whom Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., directed millions of dollars in congressional earmarks has been blocked from doing business with the Navy amid allegations of fraud.
Word of the suspension came during an annual defense contractor trade show in Johnstown, Pa., the heart of Murtha’s congressional district. Seven of the world’s largest defense contractors, who have been among Murtha’s biggest campaign contributors over the years, are helping to bankroll this week’s “Showcase for Commerce.”
During a brief news conference Friday at the trade show, Murtha turned aside questions about the suspension of Kuchera Defense Systems Inc., a family-run business that has supported him with $60,000 in donations to his campaign and his political action committee since 2002.
Over the past two years, Murtha has secured $14.7 million in congressionally directed funds known as “earmarks” for Kuchera to perform work for the military.
Asked about Kuchera’s troubles, Murtha said, “What’s that got to do with me? What do you think, I’m supposed to oversee these companies? That’s not my job. That’s the Defense Department’s job.”
Murtha is chairman of one of the most powerful panels in Congress, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, where he has been a member for over two decades.
Kuchera is one of two firms with longtime ties to Murtha that were raided by the FBI in recent months in a criminal investigation of campaign fundraising involving defense contractors.
At the Pentagon, Navy spokesman Lt. Clay Doss said that the Navy suspended Kuchera Defense Systems and its two owners, brothers Ron and Bill Kuchera, on April 23 for “alleged fraud, including multiple incidents of cost mischarging, defective pricing and ethical violations.” Doss declined to elaborate.
On Thursday night, Dennis McGlynn, an attorney representing Kuchera, said that Kuchera is appealing the Navy suspension and that “we hope to have it lifted after we have an opportunity to present our reply.”
In a related development CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has gone after Murtha bigtime. They have posted You Don’t Know Jack, an interactive graphic showing the broad reach of pork king’s infulence.