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Pa. State Rep. Miranda Charged With Funneling Money To Sister

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PHILADELPHIA -

Pennsylvania State Representative Jose P. Miranda has been arrested on corruption charges, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced Monday afternoon.

The D.A.'s Public Corruption Unit said it began its investigation after FOX 29's Jeff Cole reported on a "ghost employee" in Miranda's office, Timothy Duckett Jr.

Williams said during an early-afternoon news conference that Miranda, 34, faces charges of conflict of interest, perjury and criminal conspiracy.

Miranda's sister, 28-year-old Michelle Wilson, also faces charges after Miranda allegedly ordered Duckett to pay her, according to the D.A.

Prosecutors allege that Miranda attempted to hire his sister as chief of staff when he took office in 2012, but the House's Democratic Caucus wouldn't allow it because doing so would violate the ethics code.

So, the D.A.'s office says Miranda hired Duckett to funnel money to his sister.

In the spring of 2013, FOX 29 Investigates reported that a staffer in Miranda's office was being paid by the state representative but spending much of his time at a garage he ran in the city.

After FOX 29 alerted Miranda about the work habits of legislative assistant Duckett, the state representative fired him, claiming in a statement that he thought Duckett was performing "community outreach work."

Miranda, a first-term representative of the 197th Legislative District, twice sped away when FOX 29 approached him for comment.

Duckett does not face any charges as a result of the investigation, the D.A.'s office said. Court documents say he was granted immunity and went on to testify before a grand jury in this matter.

Watch Cole's full report on the charges in the video clip above.

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