Ten-term republican Rep. Curt Weldon, whose constituents in Penn.’s 7th district include parts of the West Chester University campus, found himself defending the reputations of himself and his daughter last Monday after the FBI raided six locations linked to his daughter and her business partners, including four in the Philadelphia area.On Monday, October 16, 2006, the FBI raided the Center City, Philadelphia law office of John Gallagher, an acquaintance of Weldon; the Media, Pa. public relations firm of Charles Sexton Jr. and Weldon’s daughter Karen; and the homes of both Karen Weldon and Sexton. Additionally, FBI agents executed two search warrants in Jacksonville, Fla. including Russian energy firm Itera, which does business with Sexton and Karen Weldon’s PR firm, Solutions North America, and a residential location whose correlation to the investigation is unknown.
Rep. Weldon’s home and offices were not among the locations being investigated.
The raids are linked to allegations that Karen Weldon, who is a registered lobbyist, won over one million dollars in contracts from Russian energy firms, including Itera, with assistance from her father, who is the vice chairman of the House Armed Services committee.
“I’ve never helped my daughter get anything,” said Weldon, continuing, “My kids are qualified on their own.”
Rep. Weldon was quick to point out that the matter under investigation is more than two years old.
“What I find ironic, if there is an investigation, is that no one would tell me until three weeks before the election. This incident was two and a half years ago,” the congressman told the press in Media.
Curt Weldon is in a close race for re-election against Democrat Joe Sestak. Mid-term elections will take place on Tuesday, November 7.