October 24, 2017
Two political aides to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady were indicted Tuesday in a federal probe of a $90,000 payment allegedly made to the powerful Philadelphia Democrat's 2012 primary opponent, who admitted to dropping out of the race in exchange for money.
Ken Smukler, 57, and Donald Jones, 62, were behind "unlawful campaign contributions and engaged in a falsification scheme involving those contributions to the campaign of a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination," the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.
Philly.com, which earlier Tuesday had reported Smukler's expected indictment, said Brady had not heard about the indictment when reached Tuesday.
"[Smukler] didn’t do nothing wrong," Brady told the newspaper. "I don’t know what this is all about.”
Federal law prohibits a contribution from one campaign to another from exceeding $2,000.
Brady's opponent in the 2012 Democratic primary, Jimmie Moore, admitted earlier this month to hiding the payment in exchange for withdrawing his candidacy. Moore, a former city judge, met with Brady to discuss the arrangement shortly before exiting the race, according to court documents. It was agreed the payment would be disguised, investigators said.
Brady hasn't been charged with a crime, and prosecutors have not indicated whether the congressman may be implicated in the probe.
In July, a former aide to Moore admitted to creating a company, under Moore's instruction, whose sole purpose would be to receive funds from Brady's campaign. Prosecutors say the money was used to cover Moore's campaign debts.