CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - When Democratic congressional candidate Paul Politis was preparing last week for a Monday news conference, he didn't expect his campaign might be helped by a federal grand jury in Boston.
On Thursday incumbent Bud Shuster's former chief of staff was indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a probe into possible influence peddling.
"I don't want to beat Ann Eppard into the ground because she hasn't been convicted of anything," Politis said Monday.
Eppard, 55, of Alexandria, Va., worked for Shuster until 1994 and currently is a lobbyist.
She was charged with conspiring to violate the federal gratuity statute and defraud the Internal Revenue Service.
Another lobbyist, Vernon A. Clark, 68, of Stateline, Nev., also was charged.
Prosecutors alleged Eppard received $230,000 from Clark or his clients between 1989 and 1993, but never reported receiving the money.
Eppard last week denied the allegations.
Prosecutors allege the payments were related to the "Big Dig," a $10.8 billion highway project in Boston.