Skip to comments.County subpoenaed in probe of congressman, lobbyist - San Bernardino Co., Jerry Lewis-R
Posted on 06/01/2006 7:30:03 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
San Bernardino County, Calif., has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for records connected to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, and a lobbying firm with strong ties to Lewis, a county official said.
The subpoena asked for all records of the county's correspondence with Lewis and his staff and with the lobbying firm, Copeland, Lowery, Jacquez, Denton, & White, which employs former California Republican congressman Bill Lowery, said San Bernardino County's chief deputy counsel, Daniel B. Haueter.
Haueter said that the county, which hired Copeland, Lowery in 2002, was complying.
Lewis represents portions of the inland Southern California region.
The Associated Press and other news outlets reported last month that the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles had opened an investigation into the relationship between Lewis and Lowery, but prior to the confirmation by San Bernardino County, it wasn't clear who had been subpoenaed.
The subpoena was first reported Thursday by The Sun of San Bernardino.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined comment and Lewis' spokesman didn't immediately return a call for comment. Lewis has previously denied any wrongdoing in his ties to Lowery.
Lowery and some of his clients have donated heavily to Lewis. The firm's clients have obtained millions in "earmarked" funds from the federal government.
"This work was bread and butter, run of the mill, routine appropriations. It was consistent with the laws, rules and regulations governing Capitol Hill lobbying," said Patrick Dorton, a spokesman for Copeland, Lowery, Jacquez. "This kind of work happens in Washington every day, every month and every year on behalf of municipalities."
He declined to say whether the firm had been subpoenaed.
The ties between Lewis and Lowery include staffers who have worked for both of them. Appropriations Committee deputy staff director Jeff Shockey worked first for Lewis, then went to work for Lowery in 1999, and returned last year to Lewis' staff - getting $600,000 in severance payments from Lowery's firm. Another Lewis aide, Letitia White, became a lobbyist for Lowery in 2003.
According to lobbying forms, San Bernardino County paid Lowery's firm $60,000 last year for representation on appropriations and budget bills. White is listed as one of the lobbyists representing the county.
The investigation into Lewis is reportedly tied to the investigation that resulted in the bribery conviction of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. One of the defense firms implicated in bribing Cunningham, ADCS Inc., was a client of Lowery's.