A federal grand jury is reportedly investigating West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin’s administration, including a firm owned by his former chief of staff.
Manchin, who is also the state’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, has not been directly implicated in the investigation, Politico reports.
But federal investigators have subpoenaed the state Aviation Division director and for records maintained by the Aviation Division, according to the Charleston Gazette. The Aviation Division keeps travel logs of all state aircraft. Manchin also rents space in a hanger for his personal plane from the division.
They have also reportedly subpoenaed the Highways Division for records concerning highway projects involving Puccio & York, a real estate assessment firm owned by Manchin’s former chief of staff, Larry Puccio. The firm has obtained $831,932 worth of government contracts since 1996.
Puccio resigned at the end of last year. He is now the chairman of the state Democratic Party.
Investigators are also, according to WSAZ, looking into work done on the governor’s office by Clark Diehl, a wallpaper man who pleaded guilty to bypassing the contract bidding process and is cooperating with authorities.The Department of Administration has also reportedly been subject to subpoena.
A special attorney general appointed to the case, Dwayne Tinsley, told Politico he couldn’t reveal many details.
“However, as far as I know, little has changed with the investigation,” Tinsley said. “I am still working with state agencies to gather and provide information to the federal government. To my knowledge, no one working for the State, past or present, is the focus of this or any investigation.”
The TPM Polltracker Average has Manchin leading his Republican opponent for Senate, John Raese, 47.3%-46.4%.