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August 18, 2014

FBI Reportedly Investigating Pa. Nonprofit Linked to Leading Politician

The FBI has interviewed several people about their interactions with a Philadelphia community-development with ties to an influential state lawmaker, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Four people who have had adversarial dealings with the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation told the newspaper they had been questioned by federal investigators in the last nine months. The nonprofit was founded 30 years ago by Rep. Dwight Evans, a former chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee who has helped steer more than $29-million in grants to the group.

The corporation has also been investigated by Pennsylvania authorities. A two-year state inquiry ended last year with the nonprofit acknowledging no wrongdoing but agreeing to return $1.2-million in taxpayer funds and forgo another $1.8-million in previously approved allocations.

Mr. Evans, who has no formal position with the Ogontz Avenue group, said he had no knowledge of FBI interest in the nonprofit and declined further comment. Neither the group's former chief executive, who left down in June, nor its interim leader could not be reached for comment.