Politico’s Shira Toeplitz has a piece about a federal investigation of Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin’s administration that’s worth reading. The investigation, which has issued subpoenas for three state departments (Administration, Highways, and Aviation), will almost certainly not be concluded before Election Day.
The West Virginia Republican party is focusing on the role of Democrat party chair and former Manchin chief of staff Larry Puccio. West Virginia TV station WSAZ reported on the investigation’s interest in Puccio in early October:
Through several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, WSAZ has learned investigators have an interest in work done by and awarded to Larry Puccio’s real estate and appraisal company, Puccio & York. Puccio is chair of the Democratic party, as well as Manchin’s former chief of staff.
Of interest to us was how those contracts are awarded. Under the Manchin administration, appraisal work within the DOH was changed to a competitive bidding process. Sources believe Puccio & York may have gotten a bigger piece of the pie after the change.
Nothing so far has shown that Manchin himself is guilty of any wrongdoing. But the state GOP wants Manchin to announce what the federal authorities are investigating.
“The folks here deserve real answers from our Governor and his staff. We are a week away from an historic election and voters here deserve the truth on these subpoenas and the Federal investigation …” said West Virginia Republican chairman Mike Stuart in a statement.