Kuchera Defense Systems, a Pennsylvania contractor closely tied to Rep. John Murtha and his military earmark machine, has again been barred from getting government contracts, Politico reports.
The Navy put Kuchera on a banned list in December in response to allegations that the company paid kickbacks to win part of an earmark awarded by Murtha to another company. Those allegations arose in a fraud trial for two ex Air Force officers that resulted in convictions last year.
We last encountered Kuchera in April 2009 when the Navy placed the company on the banned list because of “cost mischarging, defective pricing and other ethical violations.”
Kuchera has given tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to Murtha, and he has directed millions in earmarks to Kuchera companies. Bill Kuchera said in 2000, “Without Congressman Murtha, there would be no Kuchera Defense.”
A Navy spokesman told Politico that an investigation into Kuchera and its owners is ongoing.
Republicans have seized on the new development, with the National Republican Congressional Committee sending out an e-mail blast headlined “Democrat Dirty Laundry: Crooked Murtha Cronies Blacklisted for Fraud and Kickbacks.”