Politics

Former Brady Challenger Admits to Accepting Bribe Money to Drop Out of 2012 Race

Former Philadelphia municipal court judge has been cooperating with federal investigators for months

Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., walks down the House steps following a series of votes on Thursday, April 19, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A former primary challenger to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady has agreed to cooperate with a federal investigation into $90,000 he says he received from Brady's campaign to drop from the 2012 race.

Former Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore has said he accepted $90,000 in concealed bribe money from the Democratic congressman’s campaign. He has been mum on whether his testimony could implicate Brady directly.

Moore has cooperated with federal lawyers for months now, his lawyer, Jeffrey Miller, said in court Monday. Miller declined to say whether that cooperation could lead to charges against Brady.

“There is a vast amount of evidence out there,” Miller told the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday. “Whether it points to the congressman doing something illegal or exculpates him, I can’t say.”

Accusations against Brady, a longtime stalwart in Philadelphia politics, are mounting.

Though it does not explicitly name the congressman, Moore’s plea agreement alleges he drew up a plan with Brady to alter Moore’s campaign filings to conceal the money transfer.

“[Brady] and the defendant agreed and understood that the payment from [Brady’s] campaign … would be disguised,” the document reads, “and the deception would include hiding at least some of [Brady’s] funds as the purchase of a poll analyzing the primary matchup between [them], notwithstanding the fact that [Brady] was already in possession of this same poll.”

Brady has said through spokespeople and lawyers that the actions he took were legal and that aides and consultants handled the transaction logistics.

Moore’s 2012 campaign manager, Carolyn Cavaness, admitted in July to falsifying records to the Federal Elections Commission as part of her role in the money transfer from Brady’s campaign to Moore.

It still remains unclear why Brady may have felt he needed Moore to drop from the race.

At the time of the alleged transaction, Moore had less than $5,000 in his war chest, while Brady sat on a mound upwards of $750,000.

Brady is in his 10th term in the House and is the ranking member on the administrative committee.

Chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee since 1986, Brady joins former Rep. Chaka Fattah as the latest congressman from Philadelphia to come under FBI scrutiny. Fattah and his son, Chaka Fattah Jr., are both serving time for corruption-related crimes.

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