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Chris Matthews' GOP Legislator Brother Arrested on Perjury Charge

Crime

It may come as a surprise that liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews has a brother -- James R. Matthews -- who serves as a Republican county legislator in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for the Matthews family, James has hit a rough patch. The politician lost his re-election bid this year and was arrested Tuesday on perjury charges. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

"James R Matthews, chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners, has been arrested to face a perjury charge growing out a grand jury investigation into his campaign contributions and county contracts.

The charge and one count of false swearing stem from allegations that Matthews lied to the grand jury about his business relationship with Certified Abstract, a title company with which the Matthews family-owned mortgage firm Keegan Morgan worked.

In 2004, county employees were instructed to only use Certified Abstract for farmland preservation open space sales, the grand jury found."

In addition to this issue, Matthews has been involved in an odd eastern Pennsylvania political scandal which local press have called "Breakfastgate." Matthews had been allegedly participating in weekly breakfast meetings with fellow commissioner Joseph Hoeffell, a Democrat.

These meetings may have violated the state's Open Meeting Act. Philllyburbs.com reports that the 18-month grand jury investigation looked into Matthews' alleged spending of campaign donations for personal expenses and the possible "pay to play" award of professional service contracts.

"Matthews lied with such ease and frequency that he acted as though, as chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners, he is above the law," the grand jury report said.

Matthews brother, Chris, hosts Hardball on MSNBC.

(H/T: Gawker)

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