OCTOBER 25, 2006
A popular Arizona Congressman is being investigated for sponsoring legislation that financially benefited a wealthy military contractor that employs his father and for his role in pushing a land deal that netted his good friend $4.5 million.
Richard Renzi, a two-term Republican Representative up for reelection this month, has for years been the target of citizen watchdog groups that believe he is unethical and now federal authorities are acting on some of the information.
During his years in the House Renzi has consistently introduced and voted for bills that have benefited his father’s Virginia-based defense company, Mantech International, and in 2003 he sponsored legislation (since signed into law) that dealt Mantech hundreds of millions of dollars.
Renzi’s father, a retired Army General, is the executive vice president of Mantech, which provides information technology services to a number of intelligence and defense-related government agencies. Coincidentally, executives of Mantech International happen to be Renzi’s largest campaign contributors.
The land deal that federal authorities are investigating took place in 2005. Renzi vigorously promoted a property sale near the Fort Huachuca Army post in southeastern Arizona as a swap in which potential buyers could exchange it for more valaubale, federally-owned land. Instead, Renzi’s friend sold the 480 acres for a multi-million dollar profit and Renzi never introduced legislation to complete the swap for the new owners.
It sounds like Renzi has indeed earned his place on a well-known public watchdog group’s “20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress” list.
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