Ex-U.S. Attorney’s Election Rival Calls For DOJ Probe
By Andrew Ramonas | April 1, 2010 2:24 pm

A Democrat who is vying for a House seat in Pennsylvania — probably against Republican former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan — urged the Justice Department to investigate whether the ex-prosecutor submitted fraudulent nominating petitions, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Patrick Meehan (DOJ)

Meehan campaign spokesman Pete Peterson told The AP that State Rep. Bryan Lentz, the likely Democratic nominee for the seat in southeast Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, is participating in “political grandstanding.” The DOJ declined to comment to The AP.

A motion filed last month in Commonwealth Court asked the court to rule that most of the 3,623 signatures Meehan submitted to qualify for the ballot are invalid. If the signatures are found to be illegitimate, Meehan would be ineligible to run in the May 18 GOP primary.

The former U.S. Attorney asked the court to throw out the petition. Meehan had tried to pre-empt any controversy over his petition signatures by notifying the Delaware County, Pa., prosecutor before the motion was filed that there may be problems involving four signatures.

Meehan, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Philadelphia-based Eastern District of Pennsylvania during the George W. Bush administration, is looking to succeed Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), who is running against Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary. The former U.S. Attorney is the only candidate in the Republican primary.

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