PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The US Office of Special Counsel is investigating Laurie Magid, who served as acting US attorney in Philadelphia a couple of years ago and still works as an assistant US attorney.
Magid was temporarily bumped up to head the Philadelphia office after her boss, Patrick Meehan, resigned to run for Congress.
According to a complaint lodged against her, in December 2008 she sent out e-mails from her Justice Department account in an attempt to raise campaign funds for Meehan and Sen. Arlen Specter.
Attorney Jeff Lindy, a former federal prosecutor in Philadelphia, says he didn’t receive an e-mail but he got a phone call.
“I was contacted along with a bunch of other US attorneys — former US attorneys — by her husband, Jeff Miller,” recalls Lindy. “I think that (getting a phone call from the husband) is a closer question. He said he was calling on behalf of his wife and for Pat Meehan. And you can’t do that. Laurie at that point was the acting US attorney.”
Lindy says the federal Hatch Act forbids any federal employee above a certain grade level from being involved in electoral politics.
“You’re not allowed to put a sign in your yard,” Lindy explains. “If you’ve got a telephone pole in front of your house, you can’t put a sign on the telephone pole. Can’t contribute money, can’t sponsor a fundraiser, can’t go to a fundraiser. Nothing.”
Lindy does not believe that Magid will lose her job, although he says she could face a fine.
The investigation continues. The US attorney’s office would not comment.
Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060.