2009-11-05 / Local & State

Pa. Turnpike Says AG Has Subpoenaed Its Documents

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Friday it was cooperating with a demand for documents by state prosecutors, but the subject of the investigation was not clear.

Turnpike spokesman Bill Capone said records had not yet been turned over.

“We can’t provide you with any other details of when it came, or what it’s about or anything like that,’’ he said.

Kevin Harley, a spokesman for Attorney General Tom Corbett, declined comment.

Turnpike officials called the governor’s office Friday to disclose the receipt of a subpoena, and aides informed Gov. Ed Rendell.

“I talked to the governor, he said, ‘Well, certainly they need to comply and cooperate fully with the investigation,’ “said Steve Crawford, Rendell’s chief of staff.

Crawford said the subpoena was the first official notice the administration has received of an investigation by the attorney general’s office.

In September, The Morning Call of Allentown reported that a former turnpike employee said he had been questioned by a grand jury about patronage, campaign donations and contracts.

Turnpike chief executive Joe Brimmeier declined to discuss the investigation.

“I am not commenting on anything regarding any of those things until everything is sorted out,’’ he said.

The turnpike commission is an independent agency with five board members who are nominated by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

The agency surfaced repeatedly in testimony during the recent federal corruption trial of former state Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia.

In March, Rendell ousted the turnpike commission’s chairman, citing “overwhelming’’ evidence from trial testimony that Mitchell Rubin accepted $150,000 in taxpayer-paid work that apparently was never done.

The federal jury convicted Fumo on all 137 corruption counts against him, including two that Rendell said required the jury to conclude Rubin and his company, BNR Preferred Revenues, never performed the work required under a contract they held with the state Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee.

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