Pols surrender contributions from indicted union

News of the federal racketeering charges against leaders of Ironworkers Local 401 in Philadelphia Tuesday has sent politicians who have benefitted from the union’s generosity scrambling to disassociate themselves from charges of extortion, arson and assault.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Democratic candidate for governor, donated to charity a $10,000 campaign contribution from the local. The campaign sent a check to the International Association of Firefighters Charitable Foundation, said spokesman Mark Bergman.

“We take the charges that were filed today very seriously ,” Bergman said. “If crimes were committed, people need to be punished.”

Amy Worden of the Harrisburg Bureau reports that State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says he will return the $7,500 that Ironworkers Local 401 gave to his campaign in 2012. “I want to go through and review it but my policy is to return it,” DePasquale said. (He earlier had returned a contribution from the indicted charter school operator Nick Trombetta of Pittsburgh.)