Shuster under investigation

September 05, 1997

Shuster's committee, others subpoenaed for records


Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. District Court in Boston has requested House records from the transportation committee, the ethics committee and the chief administrative officer, House officials said Wednesday.

Federal investigators in Boston are reportedly looking into whether Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa., the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, aided two campaign contributors in a dispute over an $11 billion construction project known as the Big Dig.

It was not immediately clear why the records were sought.

The existence of the subpoenas was disclosed on the House floor as part of a routine listing of letters received by House Speaker Newt Gingrich.


Shuster, as the transportation committee chairman; Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah, the chairman of the House ethics committee; and Jay Eagen, chief administrative officer, informed Gingrich of the subpoenas in separate letters, to be published Thursday in the Congressional Record.

Under House rules, the House counsel now must review the subpoenas to determine whether and how to comply.

The subpoenas were directed at the ``keeper of records'' for those offices. Their aides declined comment or did not return telephone calls.

A complaint against Shuster is pending before the ethics committee. It relates to his personal and professional ties with Ann Eppard, a former aide who has built a million-dollar transportation lobbying business and remains Shuster's top campaign fund-raiser.

The chief administrative officer is in charge of personnel records for former House aides.

Sources in the Justice Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, said federal investigators have an ongoing probe regarding Shuster and Ms. Eppard. Published reports have tied the probe to the Big Dig project.

Businessmen Richard Goldberg and Nicholas J. Contos reached settlements with the state of Massachusetts in the early 1990s after their properties were taken to build a third tunnel under Boston Harbor and to put underground an elevated highway, the Central Artery.

Shuster, who has considerable influence over the amount of federal money Massachusetts gets for the Big Dig project, has received $6,000 from Goldberg since 1989 and $4,000 from Contos since 1991.

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