Tuesday June 18, 2019
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Did US Congressman Tom Marino (PA) Resign Amid a Looming Congressional Investigation?Marianne Skolek-Perez Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter
Why would Congressman Marino leave the political arena...now?
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - Less than a month into his re-elected term in the House of Representatives, Congressman Tom Marino tendered his resignation today and will vacate his seat in six days.
Although Marino did not cite a reason for leaving his prestigious elected position, he announced his plans to work in the private sector and use his vast legal and business experience to create jobs around the nation.
I found Marino's untimely resignation interesting -- very interesting. Over the last few years, I have written several articles about him and his questionable actions as regards the country's opioid epidemic. Links to my articles are shown below.
In October 2014 I wrote an article for Global News Centre regarding Congressman Marino and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN) sponsoring HR 4709. The bill sparked my interest because it tied the hands of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) if a pharmacy made a serious mistake with an opioid prescription. The pharmacy would not be sanctioned by the DEA, but rather would only have to provide a remedy to the mistake in writing.
Marino evidently was not happy with my article and Global News Centre stood by the facts contained in it. A press secretary from the congressman's office contacted the newspaper stating they were going to use Congressional resources to investigate both Global News.com and myself.
There was nothing further from the Marino camp until 2017 when Marino was nominated by President Trump to the prestigious position of "drug czar" to combat the raging opioid epidemic in the country. Actually Marino had been nominated twice in a short period of time by the President.
The first time he was nominated, Marino withdrew his name for consideration citing "personal reasons."
The second time Marino was nominated by the President, a damning report from The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” showed that he advocated for legislation that would make it harder for the DEA to freeze suspicious opioid shipments, a win for drug distributors. Marino withdrew from consideration as drug czar and ran for re-election to his seat in Congress representing Pennsylvania.
So why would Congressman Marino leave the political arena after riding such a potentially prestigious roller coaster? Is the private sector a lucrative position in the pharmaceutical industry amid numerous lawsuits against pharma -- such as TEVA, Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Endo -- or is it potentially the result of another scandal?
In 2007, Congressman Marino resigned from his position as a U.S. Attorney in Pennsylvania after a Department of Justice investigation was launched against him for giving a reference to a convicted felon to operate slot machines. Marino claimed he had written permission from the Justice Department to issue the reference — the Justice Department confirmed Marino was being less than truthful.
Marino resigned as U.S. Attorney and the internal probe against him was dropped by the Justice Department. He then took a position with the convicted felon earning $250,000 a year — until he was elected to Congress.
Marino's working against the DEA could have potentially resulted in tens of thousands of deaths each year -- and ultimately cost him the drug czar position.
So what will we hear next regarding Congressman Marino -- a congressional investigation averted by a resignation? Could happen. I was threatened with one by his office.
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