A lobbying firm with close ties to the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and a central player in some of the most questionable earmarks sponsored by Murtha appears to have closed its doors.
KSA Consulting was at the center of a project that led to the first criminal convictions tied to a Murtha earmark. The firm at one point employed Murthas brother Kit as a lobbyist, as well as Carmen Scialabba, Murthas longtime Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense aide.
A database maintained by the Clerk of the House indicates that KSA has not filed lobbying disclosure forms since July despite a requirement that disclosures be filed quarterly. The firm filed its forms last summer only after Roll Call called to inquire about missing documents.
The firm has not filed terminations indicating that it is no longer representing the clients it had last summer.
But the KSA Web site has been shut down, e-mail messages to staff members are returned as undeliverable and phone calls to the firms office are received by an answering service that does not mention KSA Consulting.
Phone messages left for several KSA staffers were not returned.
KSA long had a close relationship with Murtha, who died in February of complications from gallbladder surgery.
The company helped broker earmarks for clients in Murthas district, and its executives were also directors of a nonprofit disability assistance group that Murtha helped found called the Pennsylvania Association for Individuals With Disabilities.
KSAs Ken Stalder was key in helping the Air Force establish a program called Battlefield Airmen to provide modern high-tech communications equipment to soldiers operating in the field.
As Roll Call previously reported, the Air Force intended for contractors many of them KSA clients to lobby Congress for earmarks to fund the program. The minutes of a 2005 meeting at a Pennsylvania resort that served as the genesis for the Air Force program indicate that Stalder was the driving force behind Congressional earmarks for the project and that Murthas district director supported the plan.
One of the earmarks the group eventually obtained was an $8.2 million earmark that Murtha provided for KSA client Coherent Systems, taking the money from an earlier project he had funded for former KSA client AEPTEC Microsystems.
Coherent CEO Richard Ianieri pleaded guilty last year along with Air Force program manager Mark OHair to a scheme in which money provided for that project was diverted to other companies, including some that OHair owned. Florida defense contractor Richard Schaller was convicted by a jury for his participation in the same scheme.
According to the statement of facts submitted by Ianieri as part of his guilty plea, Coherent paid several companies for products that were not part of the earmark it had received. Two of those companies, Gensym and VidiaFusion, were KSA clients.
VidiaFusion was run by Michael Hoban, a former executive at AEPTEC, who is now listed as a partner with Stalder and Scialabba in a new venture, Think Green Funding Solutions, a consulting firm that helps companies sell green energy technologies to the government, according to its Web site.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, right, and Annette Tilleman-Dick, left, wife for former Rep. Tom Lanots, D-Calif. Clinton was honored with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize during a ceremony last week at the Cannon House Office Building. Previous winners include the Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.