Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Raided by FBI?

OCTOBER 28, 2009 | by NATHAN BENEFIELD

Toll Roads News is reporting that the FBI has raided the PA Turnpike Commission, seizing computers and records (HT Capitol Ideas)

We're informed the FBI "raid" comprised three federal agents targeting three offices, one of which was the office of executive director Joe Brimmeier, while another was the Turnpike's legal department.

One of the hard drives taken belonged to Brimmeier's executive assistant April Moore. She was absent last week when the FBI came - off sick - and a temporary secretary for the executive director who arrived to help Brimmeier couldn't get their computer to work.

The IT department was summoned, and reported to Brimmeier's temporary that "There's no hard drive." The Feds had taken it. ...

Our informants don't know what the FBI is investigating.

However there were many links between the Turnpike and the corruption case that put state senator Vincent Fumo in jail. Turnpike chairman Mitch Rubin was removed from his position by the Governor recently after he was named the target of a corruption investigation, and a number of those found at trial to have received no-work "contracts" with the state at the behest of the now-imprisoned Vincent Fumo also were at one time or another on the Turnpike payroll.

Just last week Michael Palermo, a Fumo associate pleaded guilty to billing thousands of hours as a "consultant" without any real work.

But hey, it's not your father's Turnpike Commission (despite the number of patronage hires). Rampant corruption is no reason not to give the Turnpike Commission greater authority and control over I-80.

 

UPDATE: Both the FBI and Turnpike Commission have denied that there was an FBI raid.  We'll post more if any additional details emerge.

UPDATE 2: Toll Roads News writes: Wednesday morning a public affairs officer for the FBI denies FBI agents were at the Turnpike offices Thursday or Friday. Also a Turnpike spokesman calls our story "a total fabricaton," and adds "It never happened." He suggested we "take the story down." We are checking further - editor. 10:35

late Afternoon Update: A second source emerges for Toll Roads News: Bob Dietz, 55 of Lancaster PA, construction supervisor for a Turnpike widening project near Valley Forge says we can quote him as saying the FBI were at the Turnpike's head offices in Harrisburg Thursday afternoon and that they went away with computers and other materials.

Evening Update: John Micek reports that the Turnpike Commission does know of an investigation involving the FBI that Dietz referred to, but it is not as sweeping or targetting the leadership of the agency as the original story implied.



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