Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Bob Brady announced his retirement at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. We couldn't help but notice Brady sporting an Eagles shirt, days before the birds play in the Super Bowl.
Brady's reason for not seeking re-election? Family. The Philadelphia native says his decision to retire has nothing to do with his name being mentioned in a 2012 email scandal, which accused Brady's campaign of paying his opponent to quit the race.
Brady’s retirement comes as Brady’s emails were the subject of an FBI investigation into payments his campaign allegedly made to his opponent in 2012 to encourage him to drop out of the race.
Paperwork indicates federal agents wanted to search his AOL account for emails.
In a statement to CBS3, Brady said that he is no longer under investigation by the Justice Department.
“This decision was not the result of any deal negotiated by my attorneys and the DOJ,” Brady said. “Now that this cloud over my reputation has been removed, I have decided to announce my decision to retire from the U.S. Congress at the end of my current term in office.”
Saying he did nothing wrong, Brady stated the investigation was not the reason he’s calling it quits after 20 years in Congress.
“Today, I am choosing family over service,” said Brady.
Brady said he decided to make the announcement on Wednesday because they are drawing congressional district lines.
Brady also added that the political climate in Washington, D.C. has gotten worse.
“The climate in Washington doesn’t suit me,” said Brady. “It’s rigid and as horrible as could be.”
Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., said in a statement that “no one has a bigger heart” than Brady.
“Since coming to Congress I’ve gotten to know Bob well. I value our friendship and working closely together to help the city we both love. Bob is a proud son of Philadelphia. He loves our city and would do anything to help anyone. No one has a bigger heart than Bob,” said Boyle.
In October, two campaign aides to the longtime congressman made their first appearance in federal court following a grand jury indictment. The two were charged with conspiracy and related offenses. The government says Ken Smukler and Donald Jones paid off Brady’s 2012 political rival, Judge Jimmie Moore, and tried to hide it.
Prosecutors say Smukler and Jones sent a total of $90,000 to Moore’s campaign so Moore would drop out of the race. Authorities allege the pair tried to disguise the cash as an election poll. To date, Brady has not been charged.
Moore pleaded guilty to accepting payments. He resigned from his post as a judge in September.
Brady’s attorney, Jim Eisenhower, previously told CBS3 that his client is not a target in the FBI’s investigation.
“We don’t think there’s really anything new here. Congressman Brady is not a target of the investigation. We’ve been cooperating with the Department of Justice for months. The 5-year-old emails in question were turned over in April,” said Eisenhower.