Pa. lawmaker blames investigation on ex-employee

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - October 22, 2013

Sen. Leanna Washington declined comment to a reporter while in the Senate's chambers, but released a statement mentioning the former employee. She did not name the person or say what precipitated the firing.

Washington also said she is cooperating with the attorney general's investigation and will continue to work hard for her constituents. Washington, 68, was elected to the Senate in 2005 and is the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee. Before that, she served 12 years in the state House of Representatives.

Agents showed up Friday at Washington's Philadelphia and Montgomery County offices with a search warrant requesting information. Washington has not said what agents wanted or took, and a spokesman for Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, has declined comment.

Two people familiar with a search warrant provided by the attorney general's office said Sunday the agents were seeking boxes of information or paraphernalia related to political activity and copies of information on the offices' computers. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Typically, a search warrant must be approved by a judge before it can be executed by investigators and is public unless sealed by a judge. Using taxpayer-paid resources to aid campaign or political activity is illegal.

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