The late Democratic Rep. John Murtha’s Pennsylvania congressional office made most of the decisions about how a defense contractor that “acted solely as a pass-through entity” dished out money to law enforcement agencies in his district, according to a new DOJ Inspector General report.
DOJ investigators are questioning $3,335,583 in grants received by MountainTop Technologies Inc. between Sept. 2004 and Sept. 2006. They also note that MountainTop, which had close ties to Murtha, received $1,964,730 from a congressionally-mandated grant in Sept. 2008 after their audit was completed.
David H. Fyock, CEO of MountainTop, did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment. But according to DOJ’s audit, MountainTop had a manual entitled the Congressionally Mandated Grant Management Guide which spelled out how they’d work as a middleman for Murtha’s office:
Law Enforcement agencies within the 12th District begin the check issuing process [distribution of grant funds] by submitting a formal letter to the 12th District Office requesting grant funds and how they intend to use the money. The 12th District Office will review the request and, if approved, they will forward the request letter to the MountainTop program manager with the amount to be disbursed.
DOJ auditors “found that MountainTop acted solely as a pass-through entity for the grant funds it received and that individuals within Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District Office (12th District Office) were responsible for most decisions regarding the grant program.”
The Bureau of Justice Assistance, the DOJ component which distributed the congressionally-mandated grants, agreed with all of the Inspector General’s recommendations and said it would “coordinate with MountainTop to remedy the $3,330,669 in unsupported questioned costs related to inadequate subrecipient monitoring of expenditures.” If adequate documentation cannot be provided, it said, “we will request that MountainTop return the funds to the DOJ, and submit a revised final Federal Financial Report (FFR) for the grant.”