A Pennsylania defense contractor to whom Congressman John Murtha of Johnstown had directed millions of dollars in "earmarks," has been blocked from doing business with the Navy amid allegations of fraud. Word of the suspension came during Murtha's 19th annual defense contractor trade show in Johnstown. At a brief news conference, Murth rebuffed questions about the suspension of Kuchera Defense Systems. That Windber firm and its officials have contributed $60,000 to Murtha's campaigns and political action committee since 2002. When asked about Kuchera, Murtha responded "What do you think, I oversee these companies?"
Federal investigators raided the offices and homes of the comapany owners Ron and Bill Kuchera in January.
At today's trade show, Murtha announced that $110 million in defense contracts had been awarded to three area firms. C-T-C received 2 contracts totalling $66 million for a Marine Corps data program and for services to the Department of Defense; JWD Defense Systems got a $24 million contract to assemble military vehicles; and, Martin-Baker America received a $20 million dollar deal for ejection seats for the Air Force.