Last updated: February 12. 2014 10:32PM - 1254 Views
By - jlynott@civitasmedia.com

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A West Side apartment project for veterans undertaken by Catholic Social Services is part of a federal investigation into a Lackawanna County construction management firm, the Diocese of Scranton confirmed Wednesday.

The St. Hedwig’s Veterans Village in Kingston was one of the projects overseen by PCM Construction Management. FBI agents searched the company’s office in the Glenmaura development in Moosic last week.

In a prepared statement, Bill Genello, a spokesman for the diocese, said, “We are aware that an investigation is occurring, and we are cooperating fully with the United States Attorney’s Office. We have no reason to believe that any official or employee of Catholic Social Services or any official or employee of the Diocese of Scranton is the subject or target of the investigation.”

Amanda Endy, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Peter Smith of U.S. Middle District of Pennsylvania, said the office had no comment.

FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski in Philadelphia said agents had been at the company’s offices, but declined further comment.

A message left at PCM’s office was not returned.

The more than $2 million project that opened in 2012 involved the renovation of the former St. Hedwig School on Zerby Avenue into 12 apartments and the demolition of the convent and rectory. The Luzerne County Community Development Office contributed $400,000 to the project.

Initially, the diocese had bigger plans for the property and wanted to demolish the church that’s located in neighboring Edwardsville, rectory and convent. On site would be built a three-story building containing one- and two-bedroom apartments for veterans and their families. The church closed in 2007 and the school had been empty for much longer.

Edwardsville did not grant zoning approval, forcing the diocese to scale back its plans.

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